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October 15, 2015 at 3:13 PM #2806
This makes a wonderful read…enjoy!!
There’s this word you use all the time. It’s a seemingly harmless word – it’s close to meaningless, really – but it’s slowly, subversively tainting your relationships.
Look back over any recent texts and emails you’ve sent to friends. If they look something like this, you’re caught in this word’s trap.
“I’d love to hang out! But I’m really busy.”
“Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier! I’ve been so busy.”
“What’s going on with me? Just busy as usual!”
You guessed it. The single-word saboteur is “Busy.” It’s a word that’s stealthily driving your friends away, and it’s time to eliminate it from your social vocabulary.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with actually being busy – people can certainly have many obligations and still maintain great relationships. It’s not being busy that drives people away, it’s the word itself.
Let’s discuss the top three reasons it’s time to be done with “busy”… and three ways to replace it with something better.
1. Everyone is Busy.
In this day and age, saying you’re busy is basically like saying you’re alive. Being busy may once have been an indicator of importance; it may once have implied that many people and projects rely on you. Now, it’s a filler word that can be applied to any situation.
You could be 10 years into your job and be “busy.” You could be between jobs and be “busy.” You could be vacationing a lot and be “busy.” The word itself no longer relates to any specific, making it basically meaningless.
And meaningless language is a problem for relationships because it doesn’t help other people understand what, specifically, you’re going through. It actually impedes mutual understanding.
2. It’s Open to (Negative) Interpretation.
The vague nature of saying “I’m really busy” leaves the real reason why you’re being unavailable open to interpretation. While many people will accept “being busy” as enough of a reason for not hanging out the first few times you use it, eventually your friends will see it as a veil over a more sinister reason for not hanging out. Maybe you don’t like them anymore and are too afraid to say it.
In other words, “busy” allows others to fill in the blank of your true intentions. Often, they will fill in the blank with something negative. In a worst case scenario, friends may feel like “being busy” is a way of blowing them off without having to state a reason for doing so.
3. It’s a “Not Right Now.”
Oftentimes, “being busy” simply means that you have higher priorities right now than seeing friends – which is totally fine. You may be caring for a child or launching a new product; there are lots of legitimate reasons why friendships fall down one’s list of priorities. The issue is that “ being busy” doesn’t communicate any of that.
The phrase “not right now” is a relationship killer because it fosters a feeling of rejection. “Busy” is the friendship equivalent of “not right now.” It lacks a sense of caring about the other person and fosters distance as a result.
That being said, just because “busy” is not a word that generates closeness, that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate the same thing in a way that does generate closeness.
Culled from psychology.com
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