To be honest with you, no offense, but I was just sayin’…

Man, it pained me to even create that headline above. I can’t stand ANY of those expressions — they completely drive me up a wall. Why have we gotten to the point in our society that we are unable to state our opinions freely — especially when asked? Why do I have to wrap my thoughts up in bubble wrap in order to soften the blow? Why can’t I just be blunt and say what I want to say?

So let’s tear these apart…

  • To be honest with you… Oh, so what you’re telling me is that you have been lying to me prior to this, but this is so important that just this time, you’re going to be forthright and 100% honest with me? Whew, I’m glad to know I don’t need to doubt you on this one.
  • No offense, but… Listen, there are nothing but offensive words following that phrase — period. People have never, ever said No offense, but I really love your shoes or No offense, but man, your hair looks great today or No offense, but would you go out with me this weekend? Nope, never. If you hear those words preceding anything, prepare to be potentially offended.

Which leads me to…

  • Just sayin’… This is essentially the same as No offense, but, but it finishes a sentence rather than starting one. First things first, you just said it, you don’t need to tell me that you said it now. Secondly, it was more than likely blunt and quite possibly offensive — otherwise you wouldn’t have capped it off with Just sayin’… 

And there’s nothing wrong with this. We NEED to be able to express how we feel and we NEED to learn how to deal with criticisms rather than simply brushing them under the carpet. We need to be able to speak our minds at times and need to learn how to disagree in a respectful manner.

We are crumbling around each other — we can’t look a person in the eye and disagree. And if we do we simply tag a little just sayin’ on the end in order to absolve ourselves of the guilt of just saying something. Saying what’s on your mind doesn’t necessarily make you mean — it makes you honest — and there can be a big difference between these two things.

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2 thoughts on “To be honest with you, no offense, but I was just sayin’…

  1. Well-written, Jeremy. Now, I can’t say that I have never used these phrases, but I am sure that they haven’t occurred in a serious conversation. More in the “late-at-night-and-I’m in-my-comfort-group” sort of conversations where the humor and cattiness are a’flowing. Or onstage as part of my character’s dialogue. This is one of the problems with the entire world — the inability to disagree and still remain civil. Or to disagree without insulting one another. Or to be honest. I tell my students that I will never lie to them — they may not like what I say, but they can always know that it is the truth. My vocabulary allows me to state an answer in terms that are constructive and do not need to be followed by a clarifying empty statement.

  2. I completely understand, Lisa, and I hear ya. At the heart of the matter isn’t the sayings themselves, but rather the fact that we can’t speak our minds freely, even when asked an opinion.

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