How often do we hear them? Words that sound good, but have no real meaning. Words that we really want to hear, but in the long run, really don’t mean a thing.
A friend, or so-called friend, says they’ll call us. They’ve been so busy, so tied up. They miss us so much, and yes, we’ll get together soon. “I’ll call you in a few days. I promise.”
Six months later, there’s still no call. Which they’ve promised over and over. Either they forgot, which means they only said that to try and make you think they really cared. Or they never really planned on calling in the first place, and those empty words were said to make us feel like maybe they really did care, and didn’t want to tell us they had other things more important on their mind.
Maybe you run into that person unexpectedly. They act like they’re so excited to see you. Ask all kinds of questions, especially if they’re around other people. They introduce you as one of their best friends, and explain how they’ve known you forever.
Or if they run into you by themselves, their first words are all about how they’ve been meaning to call but their lives are so hectic, but they swear to call next week and make plans to get together. Funny thing, they actually could make those plans then if they really wanted to.
And of course you never get a call. Why aren’t you trying? Because this has become a pattern that never seems to end. Why try?
Why try to stay friends with someone who obviously doesn’t care if they stay friends or not?
What about the person who continually tells you how much they love you on social media? But never try to get in touch in person? Why does “I love you” become just another phrase like “hello” or goodbye”? Why do those words sound so empty when they’re said to us by someone who doesn’t try to interact with us anymore?
When did those three words become so meaningless that we just use them to make ourselves sound like we care, when we really don’t?
I remember the very first time my now husband told me he loved me. It was a special moment. Those words meant something important. I’ve never forgotten that moment.
Now they’ve just become words. Often spoken so randomly that we’ve forgotten their meaning. Or the person saying them has lost their meaning. (Please note I’m not referring to my husband.)
Don’t get me wrong…when I tell my loved ones I love them, I mean it.
But when I hear it from people I hardly ever see any more, I know they don’t mean it. It just sounds good to them. Or to anyone else who might overhear.
Then there’s the other phrase that’s so often a combination of empty words. “I’m sorry.”
Maybe you are, or maybe you’re saying it to stop an argument. Maybe you’re saying it because you’re forced to. Maybe you’re saying it because it sounds good at the time. Or maybe because you think you’re supposed to say it in order to make someone feel better.
But you’re not thinking about what those two words really mean to the person you say them to.
Empty words. Words said with no feeling. No meaning. No thought behind what you’re saying.
All of us are guilty of this to a degree. But some much more than others.
Words do matter.
Especially empty ones, because they speak a far greater truth than you can imagine.
So does silence.