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Week 1- inapt Week 2- hesitant Week 3- waver Week 4- diffident


“The senator made an inapt but well-meaning attempt to inject some humor into the proceedings.” This week our word is one that is not often used. The example sentence gives us one sense of how inapt is used. To be ‘inapt’ is to be artless or out of place with some action or projected thought. A good knowledge of grammar will help you avoid being inapt!


“He was a recruit who was utterly inapt for most soldierly duties, so he spent most of his time playing in the army band.” From our example sentence, we see the meaning of inapt. The meaning is not appropriate or suitable. Here are some synonyms to help us understand the meaning of inapt: unskillful, unwise, out-of-place, or artless. Be careful to use inapt suitably!


The Democrats constant announcements that they were going to win the election were inapt and inappropriate. Do politicians really understand the meaning of senseless and out of place announcements? With this election, I think it is a sign that the arena of politics has become a demeaning exercise in how much they can degrade their opponents and cover their own lack of responsibility for the position to which they want to be elected. Improper and inapt actions are the rule for politicians!


For someone who is inapt, it will produce results. They will do things and say things that are out of place or unsuitable. To be inapt is to also to lack a sense of timing when attempting humor or storytelling. Their actions will see to be graceless and improper. It is better not to attempt or do something if the results are inapt!


For most, relationships can be a challenge on occasion. But, when you add the tendency to be inapt at inappropriate times, it can be costly for a good relationship and deadly for a fair or new beginning to a relationship. Saying or doing things that are not suitable or wrongly timed can hinder one’s association with family, co-workers and budding friendships. A good adage to live by is think before you speak; otherwise it may be hard to hang on to good relationships that are torpedoed by inapt words or actions!

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“He who hesitates is lost.” This is an old saying that has some wisdom in it, but is it really what we should do in every circumstance? If time permits, we should really analyze situations before we act. With as many facts as possible, decisions can be made with good judgment and confidence. However, when time is an issue, we must make good decisions quickly and be able to live with the results. Constant hesitation can eventually lead to lack of action and failure!


“He seems hesitant about accepting the job.” In this example sentence, we see a common use of the word ‘hesitant.’ It means to feel or show hesitation as in slow to act or proceed. To hesitate means to have a tendency to not act or move in some direction. Hesitant is to be reluctant to act or make a decision. Normally this reluctance is based upon some doubt whether real or imagined!


To better understand our word ‘hesitant’ it might be good to review some of the associated synonyms. Reluctant, dubious and indisposed are words that are similar in meaning to hesitant. A lack of quick action or movement seems to be an inherent quality to these words as well as hesitant. For instance, in this example sentence we see this tendency: “Joe did act hesitant about it, but his encouragement sounded sincere.” When action moves slowly, expect results to be erratic!


Today I am hesitant to write about results as that was done yesterday. Instead, I will write about what kind of impact occurs when one hesitates to make decisions or take action. If we hesitate because we sense some negative outcome, it is probably better to follow our instinct. If we hesitate when the outcome will be positive, an opportunity for gain might be lost. An act done with good judgment can produce a positive impact that far outweighs any question we might have to be hesitant!


“Maggie took a hesitant step back from the door.” Uncertainty has a tendency to breed bad decisions. This is especially true when we see how it can impact a relationship. A relationship should be built on trust and confidence. Being hesitant gives the impression of a lack of sureness or unbelief in the actions of another. Be careful of hesitancy for it could be a relationship destroyer!

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“Despite the unexpected changes, he did not waver from his plan to retire.” Solid is the person who remains steadfast and fixed upon action in spite of many challenges. However, to waver at times can be expected if life throws you a curve and you do not know how to meet the challenge. Our goal should be to stay steady without wavering in the face of the unexpected. To waver is to be unsure!


Heavy emotional stress may be a factor for someone who needs to make decisions. Stress can be the pressure that will cause a person to waver about making difficult choices. Defined, waver means to go back and forth between choices or opinions and to be uncertain about what you may think about someone or something. Waver may also mean to be unsteady in moving back and forth or to become unsteady because of weakness, emotion or tiredness. To waver may indicate a condition of being unsound!


To be uncertain is a definite sign or symptom of waver. This is different from being under the influence of alcohol although it may appear somewhat the same. In this just finished mid-term election, there are some people who are still wavering between Democratic and Republican candidates who made good promises but had little political experience. It is typical of ‘waver’ to be indecisive when opposing candidates are close to each other in what they promise. It takes careful analysis to be decisive!


Loyalty and allegiance to American ideals has been a strength for our country. Our enemies, both domestic and foreign, are determined to destroy those things that make us strong. We are seeing opinions fluctuate and allegiance to these ideals waver as our nation moves closer to socialism. The end product of this flickering and wavering is to weaken the very thing that has made us strong for over 200 years. The more we waver, the more we will falter and show greater signs of weakness!


A relationship that wavers is built on shifting sand. Steer clear of uncertain relationships as they can become like one sinking in quicksand. Be sure that your relationships are built upon solid rock foundations and you will never have to fear uncertainty or emotionally draining associations that can rob you of success. Fear a wavering relationship like you would fear a tornado or hurricane!

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“Language can still be a tricky area and can make people with English as a second language feel diffident or withdrawn in their work.” When someone is working in a culture where the language is not their native tongue, they may lack confidence in its use. The younger a person is when they learn a second language, the more likely they are to feel comfortable in using that language especially if they are steeped in its use on a daily basis. The older you are when you learn your second language, the more likely you are to be hesitant when using it!


“She was diffident about stating her opinion.” In this example sentence, we see our word ‘diffident’ used is its most common definition. To be hesitant in acting or speaking through lack of self-confidence is the most common meaning of diffident. It can also be used in the sense of not feeling comfortable around people. It can also mean “distrustful, reserved or unassertive.” This word suggests some negative character aspects of one’s personality. Let’s not focus on being ‘diffident’ but assertive!


“His father is knows better and is not diffident about saying so.” One of the signs of someone with a ‘diffident’ personality is a lack of self-confidence. Some descriptive characteristics of the diffident personality are hesitant, distrustful, or reserved. This type of personality is usually lacking in assertiveness. Be careful for they can suddenly explode with uncontrollable outburst. Be watchful for negative diffident character traits!


Often the diffident character is introspective and recessive in thinking and actions. To be aggressive is not often a positive attribute of a person with unsureness in their personality. They will often be very careful about acting or speaking. Hesitancy will often come through in their thinking and actions. Therefore the overall result is a person who lacks confidence especially around people. The unfortunate term of “wallflower” is often associated with this person’s interactions with others. Encouragement and positive reinforcement are especially helpful with the ‘diffident’ person!


There are two words that should rarely occur in the same sentence: relationship and diffident. Relationships are built upon mutual sharing, understanding and goals. The very meaning of diffident tells us that it should not be used as part of relationships. To lack confidence or not feel comfortable in the presence of the other party in a relationship should be a sign that something is amiss. Communication and that means honesty and transparency in exchange of words and ideas should be done without hindrance. A diffident party to a relationship requires special care. It means ‘always use a positive approach’ in the words used!

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