You are ugly.
You make me sick.
What did you do to your hair today?
Oh, I’m just kidding, it looks great!
I think I’m going to puke.
I’m just joking.
No, really, I think I’m going to be sick. Really, I’m so sick of hearing, “Just kidding.”
That two word phrase is supposed to act like an eraser or some type of delete button. It is used flippantly. It is used incessantly by mean people. It is a bully’s favorite phrase. It’s like that phrase you use when you got caught saying something you shouldn’t have. You really did mean what you said, but it came out a little too harsh or you got the wrong response so HEY, let’s just use JUST KIDDING so, that will make everything ok. Will it will erase the last few words you said? Will it make your last actions just disappear?
Nope, it really doesn’t.
If you find yourself using those two little words a lot, you may need to assess exactly why you use it. Are you really just joking around (which is really annoying anyway) OR are you using it as a cover. Are you trying to cover your mean words or attitude? Because, I promise, it really doesn’t serve as a good cover. When words are uttered, you may not think they are permanently spoken, but for the person that those words hurt, they may last a lifetime. If it was an action you did negatively toward another, it’s even more likely that the effects of it will live much longer.
I am serious.
No, really, I am. I am serious.