Why the word “too” is just an excuse (and one of Clare’s least favorite words)

Earlier this year, we published a blog on how I loathe, despise and abominate the word “sorry.  I go off on rants about it… feel free to ask any of my friends.  To go read that blog, click here.  Today I want to talk about my second least favorite word: Too.  As in more than needed or desired.

This is another way to say sorry, or is used as an excuse.  You’re too tall, too fat, too ugly, too smart, too loud, too pretty, too short, too manly, too effeminate, too busy, too tired, too much, too hard.  Well, boo hoo.  Too friggin’ bad.  You’re an adult.  Come to terms with the real reason that you think that whatever is standing in front of you isn’t good enough.  Stop making excuses.  If you use it in reference to yourself, stop apologizing for being you.


You were made to be who you are, and you are here for a reason.


So let’s go with the first one: be an adult and come to terms with the real reason.  Personally, I’m so sick of hearing people complain that others are “too” something.  I get it.  I’m a brassy, 6 foot tall woman that has a lot of education and a lot of life experience.  I’m a specific flavor, and I’m not for everyone’s consumption.  This is very apparent in the dating world.  I don’t understand why is it so hard when dating people to just say: “I’m just not interested in pursuing any kind of relationship with her/him”?  Its ok.  I’m a big girl (literally AND figuratively), most of us are grown ups in the world and can deal.  Deep down, even if we don’t want to admit it, we know that if I’m not right for you, you’re probably not right for me.  Its not me; its not you: its the pair of us together.  I’m not “too” anything and neither are you.  We’ve been this way since before we met, or have molded ourselves to be who we are as separate entities.  It really just as simple as we can now see each other up close and personal and what we want and our pictures aren’t the same.  I get it.  I’m a VanGogh, and you’re looking for something a bit more Renoir.  Its okay.  I promise.  If its not the right fit, I’m sure its for the best.  I appreciate when people try not to hurt the other person’s feelings, but that never works.  Just say that you’re not interested.  That is easy enough to understand.  Direct, even though painful, is really the best way to be.

That being said when you hear someone say that you’re “too” something, then know that they’re nicely trying to tell you that they’re not interested in pursuing whatever kind of relationship with you, be it romantic, platonic, or business.  Don’t get me wrong, its ok to be polite, but just don’t hang on it.  It’s not the right fit.  Be thankful and move on that someone didn’t try to shove your square peg into their round hole.

If you use the word “too” on some attribute of your own, do you realize that you’re apologizing for being yourself?  I’m too tall, or “I’m sorry I’m taller than most.”  My thighs are too fat.  “I’m sorry I don’t make enough time to exercise because I have other things I’d rather be doing.”  Why are you apologizing for being yourself?  Why are you making excuses for behavior you’re choosing?  It’s ridiculous.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain about something, when they aren’t taking actions to improve the situation.  Yup, I’m not a fan of my thighs.  I live in New York City, where on an average day I climb about 100 stairs.  I’ve been asking Lesley for years to give me a magical exercise to make them melt away.  But do I go to the gym regularly to strengthen and tone them, no.  Do I do the magical exercises Lesley has told me I should do?  Negatory.  Well, that takes away my license to complain about my thighs.

Using the word “too” is kind of the same thing.  It is an apology or an excuse to allow yourself to get away with things.  If you’re too tired to do things with your family, then you should figure out how to lighten your workload, your commute, or whatever personal things you’ve got going on.  Otherwise, people grow up and leave you behind.  If you’re too busy for a relationship, are you sure you’re just not ready for one?  Or maybe you’re enjoying your job, or being single, or whatever—and that’s ok.  Just look at the real trough and admit it!  If your clothes in your closet are uncomfortable and don’t fit, maybe you need to watch less TV, or become more active instead of being sad about it.  Or go out and and spend money on new clothes.  Those are the choices—figure out which is the best one for you, and stop saying you’re “too _____ (fill in the blank).”

Here is what I would love for you to do: Start listening to yourself.  When you use the word “too” what are you actually saying?  Maybe that you don’t want to do what needs to be done?  Maybe that you’re choosing something else?  Maybe that you’re just not compatible with the situation?  Why are any of these bad or negative?  You are what you are in that moment.  Just make sure you’re being honest with yourself, first and foremost.  If you don’t want to date that person: don’t.  If you don’t want to apply for a new job: don’t.  If you want to start your own blog: do.  If you want to go after that promotion: what is stopping you, nothing!


No really, NOTHING is stopping you.  Stop making excuses.


Secondly, make sure that you’re not just making an excuse to get away with something else or get away from something else.  When you stop making excuses, you’ll start making better choices.  “I’m too tired for my family”, becomes “I need to make the time I do have with them a bigger priority.”  “I’m too busy for a relationship” becomes “I’m ok with being single and focusing on myself and my career right now.”  “I’m too fat” becomes “I’m going to rearrange my habits and walk 1000 extra steps a day either at lunch time, or parking farther out, or walking to the next subway stop instead of using the close one.”

Stop using “too.” SERIOUSLY, it makes me cringe!!  Stop making excuses for yourself.  Stop being negative.  Turn it to a positive.

Side note: In one of my Psychology classes, I read that there was a study done where if you told someone a negative thing, they would believe it, and it was more likely to happen.  Instead, if you spun it positively, then the thing wouldn’t happen.  For instance, if you told a child “don’t run, you’ll fall down” then they probably will fall down, because they’re thinking of falling.  If, instead, you tell the child simply “be careful” they will, and chances of falling are less likely.

If you make something a positive by saying, right now I’m not my ideal weight, but I’ll work on it, instead of saying I’m too fat; or say I’m going to work on loving myself instead of saying I’m too busy for a relationship; or instead of too busy for my family, say I’m going to start making Thursday’s family dinner night, and everyone needs to be home by 6pm so we can spend time together, then these things will happen.  And you won’t be too anything, except, maybe too content.  Which is just silly.  I’d LOVE for that to be my only complaint in life.

Start listening to the way you talk.  Do you use “too” or “sorry” too much?  I’m sure you’ll find an over abundance of those two words.  Instead, turn things positive.  Stop apologizing and using excuses.  Start using “I’ll fix” or  “I will.”  Remember, your brain is listening!!  Be who you are.  I’m sure you’re wonderful, or at least have some wonderful qualities that you can form the rest of yourself around.  Go be, do, and live.  No more excuses.   You are never “too” anything… so stop thinking that way!!

–Clare

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2 thoughts on “Why the word “too” is just an excuse (and one of Clare’s least favorite words)

  1. Pingback: How to Let It Go | Live ClareLesley

  2. Pingback: 101 pieces of advice | Live ClareLesley

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