“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato
The words that come out of our mouths can be interpreted in four ways: positive, negative, neutral, or unclear.
Smart, emotionally-mature folks tend to speak in a deliberate, transparent manner; crafting their words to minimize a negative or enigmatic response.
No matter how talented you are or what you’ve accomplished, there are certain phrases that instantly change the way people see you and can forever cast you in a negative light. These phrases are so loaded with negative implications that they undermine careers in short order.
Emotionally intelligent people are well aware of the things they should keep only to themselves or share only with people close to them. This is why you will never hear them say these things in public.
1.It’s not fair
Well, life isn’t fair – something most mature adults understand. Perhaps what happened is not fair; it may even be an egregious injustice. The thing to remember is that people surrounding us are often unaware of the “incident,” and even if they are privy to the scenario, proclaiming “It’s not fair” does absolutely nothing to solve the problem.
As difficult as it may be, focus your attention and efforts on resolving the issue. You’ll feel better about yourself, maintain your dignity, and may just 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.It doesn’t matter to me
When someone seeks out your opinion, they do so expecting constructive feedback…any feedback. Saying “it doesn’t matter” – in a way – suggests that either (a) their situation is of no consequence to you, or (b) that taking the time necessary to provide feedback isn’t a priority.
Instead, be cognizant of the person’s situation. If pressed for time, suggest another where you can actively listen.
4.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.
5.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.
6.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.”
When someone asks you to do something or thanks you for doing something, and you tell them no problem, you’re implying that their request should have been a problem. This makes people feel as though they’ve imposed upon you.
What you want to do instead is to show people that you’re happy to do your job. Say something like “It was my pleasure” or “I’ll be happy to take care of that.” It’s a subtle difference in language, but one that has a huge impact on people.
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.