There is a disease in this world that almost no one seems to recognize. A disease that creates disharmony, stress and confusion. Most of us are guilty of spreading this disease, and it has become so common that most people don’t even notice it. In fact, some people will negate that there is a problem.
Trust me, there is a problem. Perhaps you don’t see it, but I do, and it is driving me crazy.
Please Stop Saying “You” When you Mean “I”
Mine is a simple request. Stop saying “you’ when you mean “I”. It shouldn’t be that hard, right?
Sadly, it is.
This issue isn’t found in the English language only. I have seen people do it in Spanish and Italian as well. If I spoke more languages, it is likely I would recognize it in other cultures as well.
So what is the big deal? Why am I being so picky with the way you speak?
Because it is disempowering, it disempowers me and it disempowers you. Plus, it forces me to be constantly translating your sentences to understand the true meaning of your speech, instead of simply receiving it as a clear and precise message.
When Do People Make This Mistake
I am sure you have been in a conversation before, talking to your friends, family members, or even someone you just met. You are engaged in the dialogue and it seems like there is nothing wrong, but underneath the surface there is a disease that is eating your power and the power of the speaker.
Let me give you an example: “You know when you are at the gym, doing your thing, bench pressing 400 pounds, when all of a sudden some old lady comes talk to you about his grandma used to sell wine…”
No, of course you don’t, because that never happened to you. Maybe it happened to me, and I am angry about it because it distracted me from my workout, it made me feel awkward and it was annoying….
So why am I saying “you” when I should be saying “I”. Why am I using third person when I should be using first. I clearly know the difference between you and I. We all do, we all learned this when we were very young. However, I constantly see adults making this mistake every day in all types of situations.
I will give you a better example:
I was triggered to write this article because I saw a video about a guy who spent six hours trying to land a back-flip. The 4 minute video shows short takes throughout that period, showing his many failures until he finally succeeds. At the end, he speaks to the audience and says: “I learned something from this: Your mind is the only thing that is stopping you from doing whatever you want to do.”