“Okay” Is the New “F#ck You”
The old saying, “It’s not what you say but how you say it,” is true, which is why sometimes, “Okay,” can serve as a very effective, “F#ck you!
I can’t take credit for this philosophy. Both my parents taught me well how to curse someone out without ever saying a curse word. Perhaps they thought I could use that tool being black and woman and all. When a woman, especially a Black woman, passionately speaks her mind, she’s often perceived as bitchy, angry, bitter. I’ve got the cure for that. There are plenty of tactics to shut someone down without ever letting on that they’ve gotten under your skin or giving them the type of “passionate” reaction that doesn’t serve you well in the relationship. Over time, I have learned to hone my skill of speaking both passionately and professionally. One very useful tactic is the freedom and simplicity of the word, “Okay.”
Often people think that because you choose to use profanity, you couldn’t possibly have a good grasp of the English language. I beg to differ. I have an extensive vocabulary, and I am a fan of grammar. Some might even call me a grammar snob. Actually my boss has called me exactly that, but that is not the case. I like good content. Period. With my writing here, I favor style over grammatically correctness. My language in my posts may offend some, and I can’t apologize for that. Here, I choose to forget rules and simply have zero f#cks to give. (I can’t take credit for that philosophy either. I got that from Mark Manson who taught me the subtle art of not giving a f#ck.) I like curse words, and I think they add color to English. However, just as I can’t get emotionally tied up in things that aren’t f#ckworthy, I also cannot use, “F#ck you!” in professional meetings, in familial relationships, and other crucial conversations either. I have had to learn to use other filler words in it’s place.
Having “zero f#cks to give” applies to not only your emotions but also your words. Be forewarned that it requires practice and conditioning (like any valuable skill). You may not immediately feel comfortable trying this, but it is worth the effort. During crucial conversations (when what is said in the next moment could impact the relationship)— no matter how much you want to say it — “F#ck you” isn’t always the best phrase to choose. However, one can easily say, “Okay.” I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking that’s way too simple. You’re thinking that when you are in those types of situations where you want to drop an F bomb, it’s because you’re angry, hurt or have been wronged. I get it. But it sounds simple because it is. Own your power and don’t let the anger, hurt or wrongdoing cause you to step outside of your character. I can give you examples of when this tactic is useful.
For example, when someone tries to son you, okay is a perfectly acceptable “f#ck you.” “Son you” does not mean they try to treat you like the child of God that you are. It means when someone passive aggressively berates, demeans or condescends as if you were a child — their son. Here’s an example:
Person A: I guess you could try to complete the project yourself, but I’m not sure you would have any more success than I did.
You: Okay. (Read: Fuck you, I’m going to kick this project’s ass.)
If you’re dealing with a passive aggressive coworker, boss, blood relative, your cantankerous neighbor or any other muthafucka trying to pull that shit on you, do not engage in their passive aggressive bullshit. Maintain enough confidence in your own ability and enough awareness of your value to just say “Okay” and K.I.M. (Keep It Moving).
Sidebar: I just googled K.I.M. to see if anyone was actually using that. I KNEW the internet was going to give me a bunch of Kim Kardashian references, but I kept hope alive before executing my search. Sure enough, she dominated the first three pages and probably more but I stopped there. Okay, internet. (Read: Fuck you, internet.)
Another great example is when someone purposefully and/or completely misconstrues your words as if you were not using the same language they speak the most fluently. For example:
Person B: I think you are coming from a place of mistrust, and I am coming from a place of trust that managers will enforce the policy appropriately.
You: Okay, one major point of clarification…(Read: Fuck you. Now, let me repeat what I just said in different words since you obviously chose to hear something completely different….) what I actually said was the current policy is too general and leaves too much grey area to be consistently managed across the organization. There needs to be more objective criteria and less subject criteria for enforcement so that those trustworthy managers have effective parameters to ensure equity across the organization. (Read: Bitch, please)
I could go on and on with examples, but it would only belabor the point. The point is that you are valuable. Your thoughts, opinions, skills, interests, every damn thing about you all have value. So when someone undermines that value, don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing that you know that they are full of shit. Don’t don’t waste your fucks on things and people that aren’t fuckworthy — that includes the number of times you say it. But when you can’t exclude those people and things from your life because you have to work with them, live with them, use them to search shit, save your fucks by simply saying, “Okay.” If that doesn’t suffice, just give them this face:
Have you ever used “okay” as a fuck you? If not, what phrase do you choose to use when an F bomb could only hurt the future of the relationship? Please share your story in the comments, and let me know that I am not alone.