Thursday, April 10, 2008

Daily Conversations... and the ranting that follows.

Pet Peeve #147: the expression "it's all in your head"

Sure, I've used the expression. Maybe I only have a problem with certain expressions as a result of having a problem with the people (other than me) who use them. Regardless...

Of course it's "all in your head." This expression does nothing but state the obvious. Everything in existence is "all in your head." That's where thoughts come from. How could a single occurrence in this world be one thing or another if there were no 'heads' to characterize them as such.

I just heard someone say, "I'm hungry," to which another person smugly responded, "it's all in your head," as if that assessment of the situation was rocket science. You're hungry? Well sure, that is in fact "all in your head," because certain biological reactions are sending chemical messages to your brain, telling your brain that it should be experiencing hunger. Couldn't you say that if a person didn't have functionality of the brain, then they'd never be hungry? One's comprehension of any situation is "all in your head." Such an expression, which does nothing but identify a basic understanding, is simply redundant.

So I'm thoroughly unimpressed when one person rudely says to another, "it's all in your head," as though the statement provides some deeply enlightened perspective from which to view a situation (unless, of course, I'm the one saying it) - no shit, thoughts and feelings are "all in your head".


Anonymous said...

the expression "its all in your head" is "what you make of it"

Stepiphany said...


Thank you for such an awesome response - we are clearly on the same page :)

Anonymous said...

Remember that outside impressions and stimuli are still needed in order to create thoughts and feelings. Sure we use our cognition to rationalize external things such as cars and streets, but without those things there to begin with we would have no such thoughts. The only reason one feels hunger is because they are not filling their body with nutrients/calories (external things) which creates the biological response you've mentioned (internal).

I agree that "it's all in your head" states the obvious, but I'll go even further and say it oversimplifies the complex dialogue between our perception (both mind and body) and the outside world, and our symbiotic interpretation of the world that arises as a result.

Stepiphany said...

All this anonymity! Who do these words belong to?

Anonymous said...

When someone's response to you is 'it's all in your head' --- you should take it as a sign that they do not feel like responding to you, or even more likely then that, they can't come up with the brain stimuli to provide you with a conversational counter part, so that you get it all out of your head.