Inspirational Articles

Contemporary Sayings – Used and Abused

“Contemporary Sayings – Used and Abused”

Vitality – Conscious Living June 2015

By Gord Riddell and Kathy Ryndak 

There are common sayings or adages in the field of psychospirituality which are often used to benefit and support but all too often they are abused and become nothing more than psychobabble. Sometimes they are used so often that they become hackneyed and annoying. Let’s explore the pros and cons of some of the most popular expressions. 

All is Well

This is a good antidote to get you through a bad day, when something goes wrong or for a minor crisis.  A substitute for this It’s All Good.  It means that things will turn out okay even if you don’t know the outcome. It gives us hope and allows us to believe that things happen for a reason.  This adage is not helpful when someone is going through a major crisis such as divorce, losing their job or betrayal.  They must first transition through the passage and pain before they can resonate with this.  Saying this will only make them feel that you cannot relate to their present suffering.  When we are ready to hear this, here is a beautiful quote from Louise Hay: “All is Well.” Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation will only come good.  I am safe.”

Speak my Truth 

While it is important for us to speak our truth when you hear someone referring to this too often they are overusing this expression to their advantage.  This type of person takes issuance with many things. Everything can become an issue in their relationships and they become too high maintenance in having to listen to all their stuff. We need to know when to speak our truth and when not to.  We have to learn that speaking out all the time may not serve us or the other person. It could even be hurtful.  We have to learn when to zip it. 

It’s All About You

You will find that certain people will use this annoying expression repetitively. The truth is that when we need to express our feelings “It is about us” and there is nothing wrong with this.  This expression tends to be used by those who label others as a narcissist or self-centred.  It is not alright, though, if someone is telling their story and we interrupt by having to tell a similar story about ourselves.  These people are called ‘conversation stealers.’ This expression is appropriate for those who monopolize or make another person’s crisis about themselves.  

You are a Narcissist 

Many relationship fights escalate through name calling and one of the favourite expressions is “You are a narcissist”.  This label is abused in that not many fit the psychiatric diagnosis of being a true narcissist. 

Dr. Gabor Mate says most of us have some narcissism because “many children do not get their parental needs met. The growth of a healthy self depends on emotionally rich, attuned interactions with parents who are emotionally present and available.” Most of us would not fall into this category.

Dr. Mate states: “A narcissist sees and experiences the world primarily with respect to their own needs. Other people merely supply or frustrate these needs, seeming to lack individuality, dignity or needs of their own. The people who remain stuck in narcissism, whether everyday narcissism expressed as ordinary self-centredness or the extreme forms we label as pathological, are the ones who never fully developed past early childhood stage. “

Ordinary self-centredness is much different than true narcissism so we want to carefully monitor the use of this word. Some will use this label so that they don’t have to look at their own self-centredness.  Refrain from using this term as a weapon. 

Drama Queen

First of all, this is a misogynist phrase: have you ever heard of a Drama King? It tends to be inappropriately used for those who feel a lot or are expressive.  In a true sense, a person who really does drama may have a hissy fit and jump on their tiara. They will manipulate through drama to get their own way or cause an unnecessary fight to get attention. 

Those who are stoic or process internally do not like any kind of ‘drama’.  Sometimes, life is dramatic. They tend to judge expressiveness or external processing as drama.  This is widely used term is often used by those when they can’t handle the feelings of their partner.  When the phrase “Stop the drama” is used is shuts down the other’s feelings and the process cannot evolve into deeper understanding.

Dysfunctional, Toxic and Dense

John Bradshaw states that “95% of families are dysfunctional” in some way since no one is perfect. If we continually use this phrase to define our family we may get stuck in the past and blame preventing us from healing. This catch all phrase can let us whine and complain and not move forward. 

It is true that some relationships and people are toxic and we do not want to be in their presence as they bring us down.  Some of family members will indeed be ‘toxic’.  We can’t really avoid family, so instead of using this label find ways to limit your time with them or set boundaries rather than lamenting about how toxic they are.  This will use your energy in a more productive way. 


Many light workers judge others because they feel their energy is too dense and they don’t hold enough light.  We are all at different stages of soul development and have varying light quotients.  When we go into judgement and non-compassion our energy becomes denser. We need to learn to straddle light and density to be part of this world.  Doing it objectively helps. 

It is What it is 

There is truth in this saying but it is conveniently used when someone is talking about a problem and the other person does not want to listen or could care less. It can also be a way of saying just ‘shut up and suck it up’. 

Don’t Take it Personally 

Often the hurtful things that people say to us are just their own projections and distortions. Regardless, mean messages will cause us pain.  When a person is hurting the last thing they need to hear is “don’t take it personally.”  Rather they need to be listened to with compassion. 

We need to learn how to appropriately use these expressions in a healthy and productive way. Most importantly, there overuse underlines our own judgement rather than compassion. 

Gord Riddell and Kathy Ryndak are Co-founders of the Transformational Arts College of Spiritual and Holistic Training. The College offers professional training programs in Spiritual Psychotherapy, Spiritual Director, Holistic Health, Coaching and psychospiritual courses through a 10-part program “Discovering the Total Self”. For more information on these programs, call the College at 416-484-0454 or toll free 1-800-TAC-SELF or visit To receive our monthly e-newsletter email