I have been called sentimental many times, and it was not until I read this post that I realized that for me it has a different meaning in Spanish than in English. I think in English must of the time, but the blog world has made me reconnect with many Colombians and when I read their blogs, for some reason my brain starts to think in Spanish or bilingual mode again. It made me sad to know that I somehow began to think of the word sentimental in a negative way.

I blame myself first, for letting the environment and society teach me that sentimental is not a good thing. It is amazing how many people have told me that being sentimental is just not good. While I have understood that applying your feelings to for example your professional relationships is not a good thing, I believe that in life being sentimental is a positive thing… but how could I forget about that?

I have also been called passionate by many of my bosses. Some of them used it as a negative remark… one of them telling me that I was too passionate about what I did and I needed to just not care so much. That same boss believes that people at a certain level of the company did not matter. Glad I do not work there anymore. Even though I have had the word Passionate used towards me in a negative way I did not make it negative in my head. Sentimental though, definitely has changed from someone that cares about feelings to someone that gets carried by their feelings… but somehow when I think of the word in Spanish, which by the way is spelled the same and pronounced almost exactly, in a more positive light.

It could be the emphasis on the syllable of the word, in Spanish the last syllable is the one that gets it, SentimentAl, in English the second to last SentimEntal. Maybe the whole mental thing is what has turned it into a bad word.

I have always been bothered by the dating world and the thought those women want a sensitive guy… I say bullshit, must woman do not want a sensitive guy. Same with the whole, I want a funny guy. I think the guy that treats woman like crap is the one that has more luck in the dating world. I know one of my close friends will agree with me, he is both a sensitive and nice guy and has had a tough time finding even people to date… and he is actually funny, the other word that gets town around.

So I am looking for you guys to tell me that I am wrong, and that here in the US being Sentimental is not a bad thing… that society and people around you or even you don’t consider being sentimental (not over sentimental) a bad thing.

6 comments on “Sentimental

  1. I can’t imagine anywhere in the US where being “sentimental” would be considered a bad thing.

    To me, it means “giving great value to feelings, memories, experiences and friendship”. In the US, nostalgia for the good times we’ve had in the past, both personal and as a society is being “sentimental” (it’s big around Christmas as everyone remembers growing up waiting for Santa, visiting Grandma’s house, eating cookies, sitting around a fire drinking hot chocolate, things like that).

    We can also get sentimental when listening to good music, spending time with loved ones or friends, looking at art, reading a book, watching a good movie – activities where our emotions are brought to the front and allowed to flourish is being “sentimental”.

    There’s nothing negative associated with that word at all, unless (like all things) it’s pursued in excess. I think businesses could use a lot more “sentiment” in their dealings with employees, customers, vendors and business partners.

    So yes, that’s what it means to me. Be sentimental! You’ll be appreciated 😉

  2. I’ve been judged for being sentimental. Someone very close to me considered it a weakness, and for a while I tried to hide my feelings and become an Ice Queen. Then I realized there is nothing wrong with letting people know how we feel.

    Funny that you mention the word “Passionate” — There is a movie, I think it’s “Serendipity,” where one of the guys says that the most important thing in an epitaph is to ask “Did he/she have passion?” — I’ve always said that life without passion is meaningless. Passion for what you do, passion for the things you believe in, passion in the way you feel about others.

    Being sentimental and passionate makes me feel that I’m alive, that there is blood running through my veins.

  3. I have never known passion or sentiment to be signs of weakness. I view it as the other side of the fence. It’s the other half of being human. It’s our creative side. It allows us to see the full picture to make more informed decisions about life and how to live. Anyone who told you these were bad qualities to have are denying themselves.

  4. I’ve never known sentimentality to be looked down upon. Being overly emotional, however, can get you picked on. If you’re in high school and cry at the drop of a hat, you’re easy pickings. But if you’re in high school and you have a deep-rooted passion for being an American, etc.

  5. I think sentimentality is recognizing those aspect of life and human behavior that should be savored, enjoyed, played with, nurtured, loved, etc – as opposed to the others that need to be analyzed, categorized, codified and justified. Thank goodness the former are much more numerous for me than the latter.

  6. I don’t think being sentimental is a bad thing. I just think that being sentimental is rare for men in the U.S. Just because there are few who are sentimental does not mean that it is wrong.

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