The Things We Say to Justify Our Opinion

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

I am king of this, you know the typical give a compliment, then bring the pain.
Or the one where you say “blah blah blah, BUT blah blah blah
It seems we all do this. Justify our words to soften the message.
Ask my friends that know me pretty well and they will tell you that I have no problem speaking truth to people, letting them know how I feel and rocking a little bit of a Paula Abdul attitude (Straight up now tell me).

But there are words or phrases that I use to mask the truth. These phrases are something that I try to guard myself from saying:

“I’m Just Saying”
“You Know that I love though”
“Just trying to help you out”
“I am speaking truth in love here”
“Some might see you this way”
“I just wanted to let you know that…”

All of these can often be mask for justifying thoughts.
But I wonder how effective these statements communicate truth and bring help?


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Kyle Reed

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Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • Michael

    I just preached a message this past week on “but…umm's…” Those words do mask the truth, essentially anything we say before that statement is false…

    • @kylelreed

      I would agree. Almost like all the stuff we say before that is fluff so you can get to the real action.

  • dannyjbixby

    'With the utmost respect' is a good one too.

    And the smiley face ;)

    • @kylelreed

      Dang, how did I miss those, and the smiley face, that is the best one.

  • Tom

    “Just sayin'” is old. Tired of it.

    Some of the things you've listed – like “I'm just trying to help you out” – aren't bad in my opinion. They're normal phrases.

    Things like “I'm speaking in love” can be pretentious. I can't believe I'm about to quote this movie in a serious comment, but it's like they say in Talladega Nights: “Just because you say no offense doesn't mean you can say whatever you want.”

    I basically hate any sentence that starts with “Uh, now wait,..”

    Another thought that I've heard that I like is that disclaimer's can often take the air out of statements that follow them (although this isn't an excuse for just dropping harsh thoughts without tact).

    • @kylelreed

      Well your lame Tom, I'm Just Sayin

      No you are right, and good quote there, fit perfect.

  • jaycaruso

    I almost stopped reading when I saw the word “rocking” and “Paula Abdul” in the same sentence.

    “I'm not trying to be _______”

    It's a precursor to the person getting ready to be whatever he says he's not trying to be.

  • jaycaruso

    I almost stopped reading when I saw the word “rocking” and “Paula Abdul” in the same sentence.

    “I'm not trying to be _______”

    It's a precursor to the person getting ready to be whatever he says he's not trying to be.

  • Ben Woodard

    As much as I hate those phrases I have had several situations where the someone doesn't say anything about a mistake I've made or are making and then comes to me after the damage is done and says “I didn't want to offend you, but”. I'd rather consider a situation with your phrases than be on “clean up detail” and hear a “I was afraid of offending you”.

  • yooper1714

    Usually, those comments come out because it helps to soften the blow I just gave to the person. It's like, I know I just laid into you but I still love you…..hug?

    For a more “direct” person like myself, I almost need to go to softer bridges like the ones you stated so that you can move to a more “here's how you can find victory in this” type conversation.

  • Brett Barner

    “Just trying to help you out” <<this one is my biggest pet peeve. Almost always means “I'm just telling you something you need to work on by yourself without any help from me outside of me simply pointing out flaws”

  • JuliaKate

    i just finished working at a church that had a trained professional come in and teach the staff how to have the difficult conversations. that's probably a good thing, but then those phrases became too trite and “trained”… what a turn-off. Stuff like “this is how its landing in my world” or “i'm saying this on behalf of the vision & mission” … boo!
    and then of course ;) so you know my tone.

    • @kylelreed

      Ya it is hard to make it personal but not to personal, if that makes sense.
      We either look like a robot or someone who sugar coats everything.

  • O23

    Loving the Ke$ha link! ;-)

    • @kylelreed

      You inspired it