It is what it is—a phrase that has become popular over the last couple of years—is the most annoying five words strung together to make a sentence. It is rude, condescending and dismissive. It is used as a way to avoid answering a question, deflect blame and end confrontation.
It is a way to feel important while making others feel cheap. I’ve heard it used by political leaders, celebrities, teachers, coaches, and the media. It’s the go-to phrase when a person wants to dismiss someone who is confronting them with the truth. And that’s what IT is.
IT is not the way to win friends and influence people. It is not the way to appease those who are expecting an honest answer. And it is definitely not the way to win votes in the next election.
So, the next time you think about responding with a dismissive and rude, “it is what it is,” think about the relationship you have with the other person. Think about how it feels to be dismissed without concern for your feelings. Don’t make offhand remarks that distance yourself from others unless, of course, that is what you desire to do. No matter how you say it, people don’t think you are as important as you think you are. And no matter whether you mean to be rude, that’s exactly what you are. Don’t shoot the messenger. It is what it is.