I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did your friend just tell you, “I reject your reality and substitute it with my own,” after you told them your opinion on something?

Meaning

The phrase, “I reject your reality and substitute my own,” is a fairly common idiom used in modern culture. It appears several times in mainstream culture, with the most current use being in the TV program MythBusters.

The phrase describes someone’s unwillingness to accept other people’s suggestions. You can use it when you want to totally disregard other people’s advice directly to their face.

Example Usage

You: “You see that girl over there at the bar? I’m gonna go say hi.”

Friend: “I reject your reality and substitute my own, that you’re a loser, and you’ll never get that girl.”

Parent: “Timmy, you need to clean your room as soon as you get back from school; I don’t want to see that mess when I get back from the office.”

Teenager: “Mom, I reject your reality and substitute my own because I think there’s nothing wrong with the state of my room.”

Teacher: “Jason, your grades are lower than I expected this season, and I don’t think you’re right for the internship program this semester.”

Student: “Professor, I understand your concern, but I reject your reality and substitute my own. The only reason I’m behind is because, you know, Covid.”

Origin

There are different opinions on the origin of this phrase. However, the earliest reference to its use in popular culture goes back to the James Bond movie, “Dr. Who.” This 1974 film sees the phrase appear in the movie, but many people don’t credit it for popularizing the saying.

Most people remember the phrase from the 1984 movie, “The Dungeonmaster.” This cult classic is more responsible for adopting the saying in popular culture.

The 80s and 90s comic strip “Calvin & Hobbes” is another possible phrase source. Calvin would say it to his parents or his tiger friend Hobbes when he wanted to cast doubt on the wind and do something risky against the advice of his parents or friend.

However, the phrase would see its use explode after it appeared in the popular 2008 series, “MythBusters.” Adam Savage mentions the expression on an episode of the show, and that’s where most people will remember it from in modern society.

Phrases Similar to I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own

  • I don’t care what you say.
  • You can’t force me to believe anything.

Phrases Opposite to I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own

  • Whatever you say goes.
  • I agree with that.
  • I hear that.
  • That makes sense.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own.

Ways People May Say I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own Incorrectly

Some people may use “I reject your reality and substitute my own” in the wrong context or with the wrong tone. While you can use it sarcastically, it’s not really suitable for use in professional settings unless you want to start an argument.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own

You can use “I reject your reality and substitute my own” in mainly social situations. Most of the time, you’ll be using it with a lighthearted tone. It could be to break someone else’s train of thought or let them know that they are getting preachy on a controversial topic. People in the conversation will usually spark a laugh after you make the exclamation.

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