Phrase Rant: “This Will Change Your Life Forever”

I hate it when people tell you, “This will change your life forever.” Because it doesn’t. Or, looking it from the other side of things, every experience changes your life a little (if I go to class today my life is different than if I’d skipped). People say this about all kinds of things: books, movies, trips to other countries, experiences they think you should have. What they really mean is that whatever it is will have a stronger impact on you than most other things in life do. Or, more cynically, this book/movie/experience gave them insight into something in their life, so how can it not have an impact on your life?

First of all, it raises expectations too high. Insisting something’s great could possibly have a psychological impact – maybe if you say it enough everyone else will convince themselves it’s great too. But this doesn’t always happen. How many times have you read a book recommended by someone, and been disappointed? Or what if it was actually good, but not life-changing? Then calling it “good” hardly seems good in comparison to what it was supposed to be.

Now, unfortunately, the phrase “this will change your life,” make me react with cynicism. “Yeah, probably about as much as the last life-changing experience did.” Huge changes in my life would be: finding a career, moving to a different city, getting married, having kids, having a natural disaster hit suddenly, etc. None of which can be predicted by anyone else. Who do you think you are, predicting something will change my life? A fortune-teller? A prophet?

Like so many phrases in the English language, I can keep twisting these annoying words to mean ridiculous things, but that’s not the point. I know people usually mean well when they say them (unless they’re trying to sell you something). They really want you to be as excited over this thing as they are. I just want to point out that just because I can see your excitement and want to share your excitement, doesn’t mean I will. Sometimes the gap between two different people’s experiences is just too far to close.

What do you think? Have you been told something would be life-changing, and was it actually?
The Life-Changing Internet:

Ten Books That Will (Apparently) Change Your Life

Eating Raw Food Will (Apparently) Change Your Life

Ten Apps That Will (Apparently) Change Your Life

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16 Comments

Filed under Randoms & My Life

16 responses to “Phrase Rant: “This Will Change Your Life Forever”

  1. I also find the book’s cover written by these things at book store.
    People want to feel “the changing their life” for a while after reading them.
    A short time later they begin to find new book. This cycle continues.

    Recently I seldom read books.
    Writing sentence can change us much more. 🙂

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  2. Alexia

    The thing is, when it comes to a movie, it’s probably best to say that it’s not great. I loved a lot of movies because I was expecting them to suck so bad (cause someone told me so) that I actually enjoyed them. Same for the books. On the other hand, some movies/books have been ruined for me because they were supposed to be breath-taking.
    Also I have this weird condition that makes me dislike books too populars. The books you hear so much about you start hating them even before you get a chance to open them.

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    • Yes, if someone tells me a book is great, it can raise my expectations too high and I don’t enjoy it… Books and movies, same problem.
      I distrust things too if they’re too popular, but sometimes there’s a reason they’re popular. Sometimes they do turn out to be pretty good!

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  3. Alexia

    That’s true too. There are french authors I never want to read because well they’re supposed to be the best and the brightest (Sheldon!) but it just makes me want to roll my eyes. I’m a snob sometimes. Ok, I’ll read them. You know, someday.
    The only problem I don’t have is with tv shows. I’m a very good audience, I’d watch anything. As long as it’s you know not french. We can’t make tv shows the way americans, british and canadians (or even australians) do. It’s just a fact, we suck at it. And when it comes to movies… There’s a director who once said : “We americans make movies. We leave cinéma to the french.” It just says it all… (Am I a bad french ? I feel like I should praise french cinéma…)

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    • I guess everyone has their specialty!
      You’ve seen Canadian tv shows? We try, but some of our shows are pretty lame. Though there are a few that are okay.
      The Americans are very good at being entertaining. Their movies don’t always have a point, but they’re entertaining.
      I’ve never seen French tv, or French movies.

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  4. Alexia

    Yes, I did. Well I saw Degrassi. And long before I saw this show with Hayden Christensen and AJ Cook. And I think Anne of Green Gables was canadian too ? There’s Heartland too, I watched because I love horses. Hum… I saw Instant Star – yep I love teen shows, they’re always fun. Oh and I used to watch Little Mosque on the Prairie on Youtube because it just seemed like such a crazy idea and it was something we could never do here cause there’d be a revolution in a second.
    Also, there were french remakes of two sitcoms from Quebec, Un gars une fille and Caméra Café.
    Count your blessings cause french tv – we just can’t do anything good. That’s why we have so much tv shows from other countries on^^
    I guess some french movies aren’t bad. A lot do have a point but forgot to be entertaining though. But it is getting better, so there’s hope.
    What about music ? What canadian singers could you make me discover ? (Keep in mind that I have very eclectic taste, I can go from rap to classical music and pretty much everything in between)

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    • Oh yes, I’ve watched a bit of Degrassi but never really got into it. I liked Anne of Green Gables! But I read the books first, so I like them better.
      I thought Little Mosque on the Prairie was a crazy idea too. The show is okay, but not something I could watch all the time.
      Canadian singers… I don’t have too many I listen to myself, but some famous singers from Canada are Shania Twain (country), The Guess Who (classic rock band), Nickleback (I don’t like this band at all), Celine Dion (pop, I guess), Avril Lavigne (sort of fake-punk pop music), etc. A lot of Canadian singers have become very successful, but I don’t really listen to them because… I’m not sure why not. Never really looked into their music too much.

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  5. Alexia

    I love the books, they’re great.
    Lol, I know them all but that’s ok, anglo-saxons singers export well here. And Celine Dion did sing in french. So what kind of music are you into ?

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    • I have trouble finding music I really like. I like some of the old classic rock stuff, fifties rock, Frank Sinatra, a few Christian rock bands, and jazz to some extent. Often I like a couple songs but not the whole band. Oh, and I like to listen to movie soundtracks too.
      Yeah, Celine Dion is pretty well-known.

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  6. Alexia

    Frank Sinatra is pretty good. I’ve been into Billy Joel lately and when I really feel melancholic I listen to some old Jacques Brel songs. But like I said I really enjoy a lot of types of music, we’re different in that way =)

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    • I just have trouble finding stuff I like, so I give up. Frank Sinatra is quite fun – and I enjoy Dean Martin as well (he’s somewhat similar). I’m sure I’ve heard Billy Joel songs, since he’s so famous, but I don’t know his stuff that well.

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  7. Alexia

    I don’t really know Dean Martin, I know his name but that’s about it. Hope you don’t have that much trouble finding books you like =)

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    • Books are MUCH easier, I read like crazy. Sometimes if a book sounds really different from everything else I’ve read it’ll take me awhile to start it, but I do try to read all kinds of things. And I’m usually opinionated about what I think of a book after I’ve read it – you can probably tell.

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  8. Pingback: The Dangerous Business of Recommending Novels | Stories and Stuff

  9. health

    Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also create comment due to this good paragraph.

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