“It’s Complicated”

I distinctly remember the first time I uttered those words to a colleague. In my head, I had lulled myself into thinking it was the polished, sophisticated, “I’m the expert” response.

The moment my “It’s complicated” hit the air, I was instantly sorry.

The words were greeted by a nearly imperceptible eye-roll and one-word retort: “Really.”

“It’s complicated” has become code for:

  • Bless your heart, you’re just not very bright.
  • Your skills and experiences are not important, nor valued – I am clearly so much more important, more intelligent than you.

“It’s complicated” has become the great deflector and collaborator killer. When we’re asked for an opinion or a point-of-view in which we’re feeling uncomfortable or an itsy-bitsy ounce of vulnerability, it’s the easy go-to response.

When we want to mark our territory in a meeting where our ego just can’t get out of her own way, or we think we need to impress others, or we’d rather control than collaborate, out trots “it’s complicated.” (For dramatic effect, start with a heavy sigh, give a push back from the table and then deliver your most stern “it’s complicated.”)

And, if you’re feeling an idea is too scary, too risky, too involved, making you too uncomfortable “it’s complicated” is your go-to death knell.

Ready to experience all the potential the perfectly, perfect you has to bring to the world?

Ditch “it’s complicated.” She’s not your friend.