“Everything,” is the grandest overused superlative of all time. We use the term as an inclusive way to speak generally about something without providing more specificity. I am a major offender of overuse of the word everything. When it’s a bad day, everything is wrong. When it’s a good day, everything is great. I overgeneralize and overanalyze and overuse “everything” when I don’t have the patience to be more specific about what I’m feeling.
This isn’t a problem that only affects me. My generation as a whole tends to speak in superlatives. Exaggeration has become so common that advertising agencies have begun coaching brands to communicate with Millennials using superlatives. Clickbait article titles are rampant. Companies pull us in by claiming to be the biggest, coolest, newest, hottest product in the world. We feed off of these superlatives because we feel validation from being associated with them. By wearing the coolest brands, we feel like that makes us just as cool. All of this feeds into the insecurity and need of approval that many of us face.
Beyond the affirmation aspect of the use of superlatives, we use words like “everything” to avoid exploring feelings and emotions that are more specific. When we are upset, it is just easier to answer the, “what’s wrong” question with, “everything.” This acts as a way to suppress our darker emotions and keep them bottled up inside us. Needless to say, this is an unhealthy way of dealing with our problems. Society has put us in a difficult position because it asks us to be able to do everything while simultaneously stigmatizing our methods of coping with these expectations. This is not a sustainable way to carry out our day-to-day lives. We cannot do everything; we just can’t. Pretending like we can do everything can make us look good for a short period of time, but no one can keep up that pace. Try to remember that you don’t have to be everything. Do you best, do what makes you happy, do not try to be everything.