Last week I was stuck in a traffic jam with my sister and 5 kids. There was a fatal car accident on one of the city’s main streets that leads to the highway and due to the serverity of the accident the police had closed down a portion of the road, which lead to multiple detours resulting in a two and half hour delay.

We were coming back from a family day at Center Island in Toronto. We were tired, hot, sticky and hungry. Add we had the added pressure of being at the next family event. We did have air conditioning, the radio, a few snacks and creative minds….so we managed. Until around the two hour mark when my youngest nephew screamed out…

“AARRRRGGGHHHHH what is going on, everybody should just move out of our way. This is the worst thing ever?”

I thought to myself, “the worst thing ever?” …granted there were two things for me to consider with this statement. First, my sister lives in Ottawa, so this type of traffic is not the norm. Second, the child is only 7, so the life experiences he is drawing upon, is from a pretty shallow pool. However the boy did fall from the monkey bars last year that caused one of his bones to protrude from his arm creating the letter “M”. I might think that was the worst thing ever for him, but that is just me.

This got me thinking about the extreme language we use to describe everyday situations. I began to purposely eaves drop on conversations wherever I went (I mean more than I usually do) and I was taken aback by how dramatic most people are when expressing themselves or telling a story. As I listened, people’s words and emotions did not match the reality of the situation. There was much more drama involved in their words and emotions. They took creative licensing on their own story, and created something for masterpiece theatre.

dramaIt seems like people are trying to win an Oscar. For what, I don’t know but the world seems to be their stage.

Drama is everything and everywhere – just look at reality tv, top youtube videos and even Facebook posts. People are making conscious efforts to distort reality to hook people in or create some sense of self-importance that quite frankly leaves me confused, exhausted and frustrated.

Have we gotten to a place where we need to be super stimulated at every moment? Do we need to convey intense emotions for things to have meaning or purpose? Are we just craving attention? Are we trying to fit in? Are we trying to seem important, or better than others?

What is going on? Have we lost our sense of perspective?

Why can’t you just have a nice or lovely or good time? Why does it have to be A-MAZ-ING when it was really nice, lovely or good?

Why can’t something just be cute or witty or clever or ironic? Why does it have to be hi-LAR-i-ous when really it was cute, witty, clever or ironic?

Why can’t something just be frustrating, disappointing or irritating? Why does it have to be horrible, awful or the WORST THING EVVVVVVEERRRRRRR when really it was just frustrating, disappointing or irritating.

Have we forgotten how to just BE in a moment? With perspective in mind, recognizing the honest emotion is a powerful experience because it is about connecting to yourself in a genuine and sincere way. It is real. And real, is true.

I am not saying never to use dramatic language. I fully understand there are situations that occur that warrant intense emotions. Those are justifiable emotions. However forgetting your sunglasses at home does not warrant the same reaction as a death in your family. What I am saying is this, lets gain a little perspective and use the appropriate language and emotion to accurately describe the situation.

This week reconnect with yourself. Get your perspective back. BE honest about what is going on within you. BE genuine, sincere and real – and respond accordingly. Trust me, it is much more rewarding to connect with yourself by virtue of BEing your IT! than connecting through a contrived drama.

PS: I totally use dramatic language…but not this week.

illustration by Sam Hubbard