I heard or read this statement yesterday and couldn’t get it out of my mind even with a good night’s sleep, so here it is:
He/she suffers from delusions of adequacy.
Just think for a bit about how this could be used as something of a razor blade that slices before we feel the pain, only from the point-of-view of our psyche.
Some might ascribe this to our current President or to our immediate past President. Others might use the phrase in discussing the outgoing FBI Director, or any number of politicians or other public figures.
Speaking of public figures, how about the various members of the press corps? Or the stuffed shirt TV opinionators? Or a favorite blogger, but we must be quite careful there as I’m sure you can understand.
Can you imagine being in a public setting and having this phrase uttered and aimed at you or anyone else? That would be mortifying if the person at which it was aimed was bright enough to comprehend what has just happened.
Being adequate, in and of itself, is a slam. Whom among us is content with being adequate? Only the person who doesn’t understand the definition of adequate. Adequate is usually taken to mean satisfactory or something close to that. It doesn’t connote excellence or anything remotely approaching that. It just says that the person is okay; shouldn’t be promoted but shouldn’t be fired, either.
Maybe we would be better served if we were comfortable with personal delusions of adequacy so long as we’d not heard this phrase when people discussed us. I suppose there could be some comfort involved like with a pair of well-broken-in shoes.
Now, let’s focus on our state capitals and our nation’s capitol. Likely every person we find in those settings sees him or herself as far more than just adequate, but there are those who just seem unable to cut it as we’d hoped and thought they would when we cast a vote for them. There are also those who seem the very essence of the person this phrase was designed for and I could probably develop a list that spanned pages if I set out to do so. Oddly enough, no one for whom I voted would be on that list. Isn’t that interesting?
This phrase is actually what we could refer to as a slur. It is somewhat subtle but does the job of establishing what we think of the recipient even if that takes a bit of time to become established in our mind. I certainly hope I am never told that I am adequate, but maybe I am so dense I wouldn’t take that as a put-down. Or at least, I’d try to avoid letting the realization show.
I may have ear plugs in today if you happen to see me…just in case, of course!