Some of us are very careful and calculated when it comes to speaking. We choose our words wisely, keep our tone steady and make sure that we aren’t going to regret what we say. Others are a little more free with their words. Whether the heat of the moment, emotions, loose lips or just a strong opinion is to blame, once words come flying out of our mouths, they are often impossible to take back.
It’s easy to be hurtful with our words, even when its unintentional, so being careful about what we say is important in maintaining healthy relationships. Whether it’s to your boss, friends, significant other or a family member, these phrases should never be said:
1. “That’s not my job,” or “I don’t get paid to do that.”
These two phrases are common in the workplace. If you let one of these sentences slip, it’s equivalent to a refusal to do the work that was asked of you. If you’re saying this to your boss, you’re being defiant. If you’re saying it to your spouse, it’ll likely start an argument. Either way, you might want to steer clear. Try “I have a lot on my plate, what needs to be done first?”
2. “I don’t have time to talk to you.”
We all get busy and a little overwhelmed at times, but when someone comes to you in need and you carelessly shew them away, you’re probably doing more damage than you realize. If you’re on a time crunch, try “I’m sorry I have a meeting, can I call you after?” or “I’m really swamped right now but I have some time tomorrow if you’re free.”
3. “If you really loved me, you would…”
People use this phrase as a way to manipulate others. They’re trying to make someone else feel guilty in order to get what they want. Being emotionally manipulative will never make a relationship thrive. If there’s a disagreement, try “I would feel better if you/we could…” and explain how you’re feeling.
4. “No offense, but…”
Starting a sentence out with “no offense” pretty much solidifies that what you’re about to say is offensive. You’re letting the other person know that your comment is going to be insulting. If you feel the urge to utter this phrase, change the subject instead!
5. “You gained/lost weight!”
A person’s weight can be an extremely sensitive subject. You never know what they’re feeling or what kind of struggles they’ve been going through. If they’ve gained or lost weight, chances are that they already know. They don’t need you to point it out. Saying, “you look great!” will suffice.
6. “You look great for your age.”
Contrary to popular belief, this phrase isn’t really a compliment. It’s like saying “you look good, but you’re old,” or “compared to other people your age, you don’t look bad.” If you feel the need to comment on someone’s appearance, stick with the safer phrase mentioned above—”You look great.”
What phrases did we miss?
“If You Really Loved Me…” and Other Desperate Measures For Getting Our Way