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Delete the 'LOL' and Say What You Need to Say❗
On making ourselves smaller for the sake of others.
Happy Wednesday and happy almost Halloween, my Dearest Twenty-Somethings! I hope everyone’s enjoying the first taste of fall. This week, let’s talk language: the oft-forgotten bread and butter of our society and, if you will, the dress of thought.
Obviously, as a writer, reader and editor, I love words. Further, I will die on this hill: Language is important. A few years back, I wrote about anti-sexist language, and it remains accurate. The words we use perpetuate or shift current systems, and help to shape the institutions we rely on. Mean what you say and say what you mean!
Women, especially young professionals, often soften our opinions and words in order to be more palatable or accessible. Some call it strategic softening, using words like “sorry” and “just” and “I’m no expert in this, but…” to remind our audience that we have already undermined ourselves. Men don’t do it at the same rate (for many reasons), one of them being that it actually makes people think less of us, research shows. Even more harmful, it makes us think less of ourselves. Yikes!
As arguably one of the most dramatic people on the face of the planet—and also one of the biggest nonchalant offenders—let me make it perfectly clear: It isn’t all good! There aren’t no worries!
We spend our entire lives trying to get others to like us. We soften the blow of our (entirely valid) thoughts with words that don’t add any actual meaning. Similarly, in texts where we want to come across as serious, we add an “LOL” to lessen its impact. I know some of my non-Twenty-Somethings might not get that, but now you do.
Once again, let me remind you: you owe honesty to yourself and to those around you. After all, who cares what they think of you? It’s infinitely more important what you think of yourself.
Lately, I’ve made a conscious effort to remove the justs, the my bads, the my apologies, and the LOLs. Being confident and sure of what you have to say is more empowering than you might think.
So, if I may ask my Dearest Twenty-Somethings to do me a favor: Practice being blunt. Tell people what they need to hear. Say what you need to say, baby! And say it with your whole chest. Break the habit of making yourself smaller for the sake of others. You just might like what you find! Anywho, enough from me.
For next week, I’d love to know: What are your best tips for, and I hate this term, adulting? What life hacks might help a fellow Twenty-Something? How do you keep your arugula fresh? Do you have a genius Sunday routine? Let me know here.
In case you were wondering, I’ve been listening to the new Lana Del Rey album, “Blue Banisters.” Truly a work of art! With that, here are a few picks to get you through the week:
HBO’s Succession - I’m obsessed! And it was just renewed for a fourth season! Wealth, infidelity, dark comedy—the Roys provide the family drama I always wished I had. Well, not really, but it sure is entertaining.
Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building - You still haven’t watched? Great finale, great cast. Enjoy!
HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm - I’ve heard nothing but great things about the new season that just came out. Larry David knows how to tickle a funnybone!
Gab Bois - She makes art, clothes, furniture (really anything) out of food, objects, and other fun goodies. Love!
Venereal Disneys - Lots of hilarious collages and quotes that don’t really make sense. Niche, if you’re into that. Enjoy!
Yu Ling Wu - I’m mostly obsessed with her hair, her makeup, her nails, and her use of color in her Brooklyn apartment, but she’s just an all-around work of art!
“Good Bones” by Maggie Smith
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
Affirmation of the week: I am the only one who determines my worth.
Question of the week: What inspires you to better yourself?
Thank you all for reading this week’s newsletter! I’m always looking to improve my work, so leave a comment, send me a message, or fill out this form to tell me about what you want to read about in upcoming Dear Twenty-Somethings! I’m all ears. Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads or online if you feel so inclined. And check out last week’s newsletter here in case you missed it. For next week, I’d love to know your best adulting hacks—let me know here.
If you liked what you read, send this newsletter to a friend! Heck, send it to 10 friends! Sending love and light to you, wherever you are. 🌟
Cheers & happy Wednesday! Stay well.
xoxoxo, Quinnie <3