Words are powerful. You can use them to brighten someone’s day or completely ruin it. We often discount the power that they hold. You can use them to present yourself well or terribly. You can lie with them, tell the truth with them, and change lives with them. This means that the things you say to others may have more of an impact than you think. As such, it’s necessary to take responsibility for what you say, and to always choose your words carefully! Are there things you often say that might be causing harm to others? But what if it’s time in your life to stop telling people certain things altogether?
Here Are 10 Things To Stop Telling People
1. “You’re too sensitive!”
From your perspective, someone in your life may be reacting disproportionately to something you or someone else has said or done. They may be crying about something you’d never dream of feeling hurt over. They might tell you that you’ve upset them, and you personally couldn’t imagine how that bothered them at all.
When this happens, you might be tempted to berate them for being so sensitive. Similar sentiments include:
- “You’re overreacting.”
- “Learn to take a joke!”
- “Come on, it’s not that deep.”
- “You just don’t have a sense of humor.”
- “Calm down.”
- “I didn’t mean it that way, relax.”
But here’s the thing about hurting someone else. It’s basic manners to apologize when someone says you hurt them. You don’t lecture them on how to avoid being hurt by you in the future – you listen, say you’re sorry and discuss the problem if you need to.
2. “Why can’t you be more like (insert person here)?”
Comparisons are ugly, they don’t help anyone, and, for the most part, they’re unnecessarily hurtful. In moments of frustration, you may wonder why someone in your life can’t be like someone else – but that is a toxic, pointless thought. You may want to say:
- “Why can’t you listen to me like my mom does?”
- “I wish you were less of a troublemaker, like your brother.”
- “You should be more like (insert name).”
- “Well, how many marks did your classmates get?”
- “(Insert name) seems fine with it, so you should be, too.”
Why don’t comparisons work? It’s simple: no two people are alike. Everyone is unique, and therefore it is completely pointless to compare those around you. Of course, they will be different, have different progress rates, and have their own issues in life; they’re different people!
On top of that, if you’re using comparisons on a young child, you could be damaging their self-esteem and self-worth. They may continue this pattern of decreased positive thinking and comparison well into adulthood as a result. (1)
3. “No offense, but …”
The next time you’re about to preface a statement with “no offense, but …”, take a few seconds to think about why you feel the need to do so. Often you’ll find that the reason you need to prepare those around you for a potential offense is because what you’re going to say is fairly offensive!
“No offense, but …” is one of those phrases that is about as effective as “not to be racist, but …” because all you’re doing is warning people in advance that what you’re about to say is definitely not pleasant. You have to figure out which things are worth saying and which are much better left unsaid.
Need to say something that may hurt? Prepare by phrasing it productively, and then just say it! You’ll find that your reception is often a lot more positive when you sound like you’re being upfront and honest, as opposed to trying to avoid getting into trouble.
4. “Get over it.”
Maybe you’re sick of hearing about how upset someone is, or how sad something that happened has made them. In your annoyance, you tell them to just get over it. This is completely unproductive and not a healthy coping mechanism at all. Definitely a statement you should stop telling people.
The problem is that even if the other person listens to you and decides to forcefully “get over it,” they’re not actually doing so. What they’re doing instead is repressing the problem and pushing it to the back of their minds, where it will sit and fester. Eventually, this will cause even more problems for them, leading to resentment.
It is healthy to deal with problems. We have to confront them, live with them, and work them out in our own time – even if we have some help from other people – in order to truly overcome them. That’s how to deal with them in a positive way. Some issues and painful emotions take longer to overcome than others – and it is not your place to hurry them along or force. (2)
5. “You’ll change your mind one day.”
Many people, especially those on the younger side, hear all the time that the decisions they’ve made aren’t valid. These decisions may be about:
- Getting married
- Having children
The so-called “superior” wisdom that comes with age may have imparted you with better judgment and knowledge, but it hasn’t allowed you to tell the future. If a young adult says they don’t want kids, it’s very silly to try and convince them that they will one day – especially since that doesn’t impact you at all!
Do you really, really want to make sure that someone knows you suspect they’ll change their mind? Just say, “Let me know if you ever change your mind!” for a more positive ending to that conversation.
6. “You’re too attractive to (insert action here).”
We live in a world filled with stereotypes about how people’s looks relate to what they do in life. In addition, the world we live in is filled with ideas of what is and isn’t conventionally attractive. It’s difficult not to fall prey to those ideas every once in a while, especially if you were raised believing them.
Sometimes, you might find yourself saying that someone is too attractive to be doing a rugged activity. Or you may say that you didn’t think they were smart or tough because of how attractive they look. All this does is make you look like a bad person, and it isn’t going to be taken as a compliment, no matter how hard you try to sell it.
People’s looks and what they do are not mutually exclusive, and to believe otherwise is to be prejudiced. It’s a very narrow-minded way of looking at the incredibly diverse world that we live in. This is one of those things you should stop telling people.
7. “Happiness is a choice.”
We see people use this phrase all the time, whether to cheer someone up or try to knock someone out of bad states. Unfortunately, not only is this incredibly condescending to those in bad circumstances or with mental disorders, but it’s also just scientifically inaccurate. Happiness in people is decided through the following three things:
Someone’s place in life largely affects the way that they feel – this can range from very little to around 15%.
· Set Happiness Points
A good portion – a little less than half of it – relies on your genetics and your natural temperament, and this cannot be changed.
· Intentional Behavior
Personal activity accounts for approximately 40% of your happiness. This means that you can only really control less than half of your mood.
Basically, trying to will someone into positive thinking by telling them to choose happiness just doesn’t work. The previous three points don’t even account for mood disorders that can only be managed, not cured. By making someone believe that it’s their fault that they aren’t happy, you’re doing way more damage than you’re alleviating. (3)
8. “What’s in it for me?”
No one likes a person who is always asking for something in return. You paint yourself as lazy at work, not to be trusted among friends and family, and calculative in romantic relationships. It’s not a good look for anyone.
Does this mean you should be a “yes man”? No, of course not! Set your boundaries where necessary. At the same time, though, don’t insist on always being repaid for good deeds. Acts of kindness are no longer born out of kindness if you’re expecting to be paid in some way for it.