“We’ll figure it out” means you probably won’t

I hear and use the phrase “we’ll figure it out” very often.

And that usually means that whatever needs figuring out typically won’t be figured out.

Whenever that phrase is spoken, the topic is usually something that isn’t that urgent nor important, so it gets deferred until a later time. Or it never gets talked about again.

Which is OK. We shouldn’t be spending time on things that aren’t important.

But what I don’t like about that phrase is that it’s ambiguous whether you’ll revisit it again to figure it out.

That uncertainly can lead to differing expectations and miscommunication. One person might think “it” is more important, so the expectation of figuring it out may be more urgent for one as opposed to another. This can lead to some angst.

And it adds to your cognitive overhead.

So instead of saying “we’ll figure it out” and leave it open-ended, either figure it out at that moment, place a due date on figuring it out, or clearly state that it’s not that important and trash it.

I’m going to try to practice what I preach. I hope I can figure it out. 😉

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