Lately, I’ve noticed more and more people around me – especially those younger (which is an increasingly large number of people) – are using the phrase “I feel like…” when they start describing their opinion or assessment of a situation.
I really noticed it when I found myself starting to use it, myself.
Word usage is of keen interest to me, and I tend to be fairly literal about it. When I hear “I feel like…” I’m inclined to immediately reject the validity of whatever follows. Not because I don’t care about another’s feelings, but because its missing objectivity.
If you’re going to tell me how something is, I’d like your presentation and reasoning to be fact-based empirical evidence, not on whether or not something makes you feel good, uneasy, or bad.
You can tell me what you’ve observed that has led you to your conclusion and then follow up with how that conclusion makes you feel. But basing decisions on one’s feelings is rarely a good idea.
At this point in our country, we’re about to make a fairly large and important decision. Many people feel like Donald Trump is a bad man or says things that make them uncomfortable, angry, or embarrassed. But just as many can see that we haven’t entered into a new war, we’re energy independent, and our country is nearly fully employed (or was, pre-COVID).
We can decide whether or not to keep President Trump in office because our country is in the best shape it has ever been by many measures, or we can remove him because we’ve been told by our media and cultural elite feels like he is an evil, racist, horrible man.
Worst case scenario: He is both. He engineered an American comeback many thought impossible while being a pretty horrible guy.
Best case scenario: He is not a horrible person and our country is in great shape.
Either way, starting sentences with “I feel like…” undercuts whatever follows and makes it appear as if you’re not making an observation or recommendation based on any fact.
Fortunately, there’s a time-tested way to start those exact sentences: “I think…”