Monday, July 16, 2018

"I Feel Like...."

Of all the phrases to emerge in the last 10 years, the one I cannot stand more than any other is "I feel like.."

It typically is used in the context where previously one would have used such phrases as "I believe" or "I think" or "I theorize" - in other words, where there is a sense that something is known or occurred but it is not definitively recalled as such.

But "I feel" indicates, more than anything else I can think of, the degradation of our ability to think and reason in our society.

Feelings are personal.  Feelings are also something that one cannot argue against:  my feelings are my feelings and therefore (in this current age) legitimate.  "I feel like"  often means I am intuiting that something happened although I cannot produce a more firm knowledge base

It means that feelings have reached the point where they have the same value and currency as knowledge.  " I know" almost sounds too harsh now, too definitive.  "I feel like" has a softer sound, allowing me to withdraw from an incorrect fact or understanding simply by realizing that my feeling was not real, either through mis-remembering or just having the wrong "feeling".

"I know", "I believe", and "My understanding was" are all phrases that point to a determination of mind and spirit that knows things as they are presented, not intuited.  They sound harsh and decisive simply because they are.  They deal in the world of facts.  Feelings, by contrast, live in the realm of the theoretical.

Be strong.  Be decisive.  Know.  Believe.  Understand.  But keep your "feelings" for the actual exercise of emotions, not facts.

2 comments:

Leigh said...

It's hard to have a real conversation with someone who uses that phrase. As you say, it's a personal expression so it keeps the conversation rather one sided, I think. People seem to base a lot of their reality on their feelings. But feelings are so fickle. I think it would be wearisome to be following one's feelings around like that.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I think so too Leigh - although I never thought of it as a one-sided conversation (it really makes for one, though). I wonder if people have always based their reality so much on their feelings or if this is a relatively recent development.