Why We Really SHOULD Never Say Never

Though it may come off as slightly contradictory by the looks of this headline, I think that we should try to refrain from using the word “never” in our every day vocabulary. It has the simplest definition and in and of itself is a pretty self-explanatory word (by definition, meaning “not ever” or “not in any degree” as Merriam-Webster describes it).

So, why should we never say never, you may ask?

Because we cannot predict a particular outcome 100% of the time. As humans, we are fated to error due to a variety of factors that we have absolutely no control over. Moreover, we cannot predict the person whom we will become in a year, or five, or ten, or fifty. German-American Psychologist, Erik Erikson, identified the theory that we experience stages of psychosocial development. Each of these stages occur at a specific period of time in our lives going from infancy to late adulthood, and throughout these stages, we reach a new level of understanding about life.

As humans, we are ever-changing, ever-growing. We become emotionally invested, we change our minds, and we take on different perspectives. The more we experience, the more we learn. And the more we learn, the more we grow.

Think back to your younger self. Have you ever promised yourself that you would never smoke weed? Or become a corporate sellout? Or move back to the suburbs? 

How many times have you broken a promise to yourself?

How many times have you broken a promise to a friend?

Or a family member?

We just celebrated the New Year about two weeks ago. Have you made any New Year’s resolution? 

What about prior New Year’s resolutions? How has that gone for you in the past?

Now, I’m not questioning the intention or sincerity of another person’s word. However, I won’t fully trust it. Honestly, I won’t even hold it against them if they go against their word. And it’s because I’ve come to understand that people change, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Saying “never” is like chaining yourself up and depriving yourself from something that you may change your mind about in the future. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to run back to your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend after telling yourself that you would never go back to him or her. 

Instead, what I’m saying is that there is no need for self-proclamation or justification of your actions by making a promise to yourself or to the world. The thing is, actions will always speak louder than words (which is ironic for me to say as a writer). But, it’s true. 

Again, you don’t know the kind of person you will become in the future. You don’t know what you’ll say ‘yes’ to or what you’ll say ‘no’ to. Don’t burn bridges and don’t write people off. Don’t say that you will never do something because you don’t know what can happen down the road. Instead, just live your life the way that you want to lead it and allow yourself to enjoy the journey along the way. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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