Liberals are trying to police language once again by removing “hurtful labels” that are typically used to urge people to take personal responsibility.
In a column published by Psychology Today, Psychiatrist Dr. Grant Hilary Brenner said that words like “lazy” and “selfish” are “dividing words” that should be avoided.
“These are dividing words, misunderstanding concepts, rather than language which joins and deepens mutuality and self-relationship,” Brenner said.
Brenner identified six words in total: lazy, bored, hypocrite, spoiled, stupid and selfish. He slammed these labels as “linguistic violence.”
“Rather than understanding the nuance and creating bridges for understanding and communication, such labeling reflects underlying either-or thinking, generally fragmenting us apart from ourselves and each other in an act of linguistic violence.”
Brenner overlooked the fact that words like “lazy” and “selfish” exist for a reason. They have real, applicable meanings.
We shouldn’t abandon words just because there might be other elements at play. If someone is not contributing their fair share, people should be allowed to call them out for being lazy.
Hardworking people have earned the right to distinguish themselves from lazy people.
Brenner claimed that calling someone lazy “lets everyone off the hook for looking into what is really going on, often serving to cover up embarrassing issues, such as learning differences, personal stress, or even more profound problems.”
Being stressed or having a learning disability is different than being lazy. Lazy is meant to describe particularly slothful behavior, which can occur whether you’re stressed or not.
Identifying lazy behavior doesn’t let people off the hook for their problems because being lazy is one of their problems. In fact, by refusing to call people lazy, you’re letting them off the hook for their slothful behavior.
Don’t leap to apply a negative label to someone. You could be doing them a disservice and costing yourself a worthwhile relationship. https://t.co/cT7k51ULlC
— Psychology Today (@PsychToday) December 17, 2018
Brenner’s analysis of the word “selfish” was just as awful.
He claimed that the word “selfish” typically has “childhood roots, often religious or moral overtones as well, which valorize self-sacrifice past the point of masochism.”
Brenner seems to be creating a problem where there isn’t one. There’s nothing wrong or harmful about being selfless for religious reasons. However, most people should be able to agree that selfish behavior is wrong.
The psychiatrist concluded by claiming these labels “do violence to relationships.” For someone who likes to talks about “underlying issues,” Brenner seemed to ignore a significant detail.
The behavior that inspired these labels to begin with do more “violence to relationships” than the labels themselves. Lazy or selfish behavior is objectively worse for relationships than simply identifying someone as lazy or selfish.
Liberals wants to take away the language we use to identify bad behavior, which would result in a more permissive attitude toward such behavior. The end result is more snowflakes.
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