You're wrong about me (but I'm right about you), part 2: Words

Recently I told an anecdote about how people assume I must love the heat simply because I grew up in Brazil. The moral of the story was, “Make no assumptions.” But we all do. We make assumptions about people, about things, about situations. We make assumptions without knowing we’re making them. Facts? Who needs facts when we have convictions?

Certain words and expressions are good indicators of a mind that may be looking at the world with preconceived ideas. But we won’t assume that the expressions below NECESSARILY indicate a closed mind, right? See if you recognize some habits of thought and speech in one or more of these statements. And try to suss out why they may reveal a prejudice or three.

  • Always. Never. Should. Should not. Must. Must not. Everyone. Nobody, ever!
  • As everyone knows…
  • I’m sure you’ll agree with me.
  • You and I are exactly alike.
  • I know what I’m talking about.
  • Absolutely. Absolutely not.
  • It doesn’t matter what you say anymore. You won’t change my mind.
  • I’m surprised you don’t see it.
  • You, of all people?
  • I was raised that way.
  • Where I come from, we really respect other people. Unlike here, where there are so many morons.
  • It’s always been that way, and it’ll always be that way. That’s just how it goes.
  • I hate oysters. I don’t even have to eat one to know that I hate eating them.
  • It’s so obvious.
  • You’ll love it! Everyone does!
  • It’s the most natural thing in the world.
  • I know what you mean.
  • Oh, yes, I’ve met many Israelis (or Nigerians, or South Americans, or weight-lifters, or any one group of people). At least five of them.
  • It’s a well-known fact.
  • That’s what they do, those people.
  • You left me with no choice.