1. It’s not fair!
Mature adults are well aware that life is not fair. Maybe the situation that happened is an egregious injustice and completely unfair. But, people around us that are not familiar with the incident or any of the previous things that happened will not have a clue what you are talking about. Also, saying this will never solve the problem.
Instead of feeling bad, try to resolve the issue by focusing your attention and efforts. This will help you feel better and also solve the problem.
2. You look tired.
We can never know for sure about what is happening in someone else’s life. Saying this to someone regardless of your good intentions will show them that everyone can see their problems on their face. So, instead of telling someone they look tired, try a more empathetic approach by asking them is everything okay. This will show that you are concerned about that is going on in their life.
3. For your/a… statements
This includes saying something like “For a woman you have achieved so much”, or “You look great for your age”. As much as we want to avoid it, we know that there are age and gender biases. Saying things like this can offend the person you are talking to. Instead of including the age or gender factor, just compliment the person.
4. As I’ve said before…
This could imply that you are insulted because you have to repeat yourself or you may also sound like a snob and people could get the impression you feel superior over them. Repeating the same things over and over can be frustrating, however clarify what you are saying without verbalizing that frustration.
5. You never… or you always…
No one ever does or doesn’t do anything. These words could give the impression of dishonesty or drama and they are used to hurt the feelings of someone else. Try to explain to the other person what they did wrong and provide examples.
6. Good luck
Luck is something that we have no control over and it is influenced by other factors we can’t change. For example, winning the lottery is pure luck and you can’t do anything to increase your chances.
Even though this is a common saying that shows good intention, it is much better to say “I know you have what it takes” or “You’ve got this in the bag”. This can increase the person’s confidence rather than their belief in their luck.
7. It doesn’t matter to me
A person who asks for your opinion means they want to hear what are your thoughts on a certain subject. Avoiding the answer by saying “it doesn’t matter” can suggest that the situation will not affect you in any way or that you don’t think you should waste time to provide feedback. However, if you don’t have time at the moment, tell the person when you will be available for discussion.
8. With all due respect …
This is not something that shows respect towards the person you are talking to. It is actually about your body language, voice intonation as well as how you frame your words which say a lot more about respect rather than saying this phrase.
9. I told you so…
This shows superiority and makes you seem like a school boy/girl because of the immature tone. If you have warned someone about the consequences of their action and they failed, saying I told you so will not change anything. It is not even constructive criticism, so instead of rubbing the person’s failure to their face, try to help them recover of find a way to resolve the issue.
10. I give up
This is a phrase that we use when there is a challenge in front of us that we think we will never be able to overcome. It could include a horrible boss, a hard project, a disdainful co-worker etc. However, your attitude is the only thing that is between you and your success. Never lose faith in your capability to achieve things and motivate yourself by saying “I can do this.”