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Phrases to Avoid Saying

There are some phrases out there that should just not be said. For various reasons. Some take away your power, make it seem like you’re…


phrases to avoid saying

There are some phrases out there that should just not be said. For various reasons.

Some take away your power, make it seem like you’re doubting yourself. Others paint you in a negative light and make you appear stressy, unapproachable and a bit miserable. Some just make you look like a knob.

Let’s take a looksi.

phrases to avoid saying

When you’re about to be a dick:

Okay, so when you say any of the following, YOU NEED TO STOP and think about what you’re about to say. Is it really necessary? Because you’re probably going to be a dick. Or sarcastic. Or bitchy. Or say something not nice.

Saying these phrases have become a habit for a lot of us. But what usually follows or proceeds the sayings is something negative. And negativity breeds negativity.

I know when I’m having a moan and a vent, I might think I’m getting my feelings out there to let go, but most of the time I just rant myself silly until I’m so wound up I hate the world.

Whereas if you say something positive or talk about how good something is, or say something nice about someone, even if they’re not there, I feel uplifted and happy.

These phrases that mean you’re probably going to be a dick are:

  • I’m not being funny, but..
  • Nobody asked me, but..
  • I don’t mean to be rude, but..
  • I know it’s nothing to do with me, but..

If you have a valid point to make, then just say it in a constructive way, taking note of who is around at the time and decide whether it’s something that should be said on a one-on-one basis, directly to the person.

When you’re doubting yourself:

We need to be more confident with our opinions and ideas. Saying the phrases below can show you’re not sure of yourself and your idea.

Believe in yourself, state your facts directly! You’re proper powerful πŸ˜‰

  • This might sound stupid but..
  • I might be wrong, but..
  • I’m not sure, but..
  • I’m going to ask a stupid question..

When you’re at work:

Whatever position you’re in at work, you need to be mindful of how you come across. Many phrases, which are probably the first thought that pops into your head, will have you labelled as a negative employee or leader who isn’t open to change and who is not willing to listen to new ideas, easier ways of working or up for the challenge of solving problems.

  • I can’t do that.
  • That’s not my job.
  • Just get it done.
  • It won’t work.
  • I already knew that.
  • I’ll try.
  • We’ve always done it this way.

Saying the above is not only going to make you come across as a negative nelly, but you’re already convincing yourself that you can’t complete a task, or this idea is a bad one, before you’ve even tried.

Now, let’s be a bit more positive.

Are there any phrases you avoid saying?

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  1. I am definitely guilty of some of these, mainly in the doubt and work category. Although a lot of the stuff in the work category is actually anxiety-related, and fuelled by a defensive mechanism that makes me want to shut down something that I think I can’t do before someone can call me out on it, or because I feel too anxious to produce an answer right away, which is my impulse instead of thinking about it. These are things I’ve worked on in CBT and are getting better, but I don’t necessarily mean to be a dick.

    Anyway, this is a great post! Definitely haven’t seen anything similar on another blog I read, which is super refreshing!

  2. Good points, I know there’s been plenty of times I’ve used the doubting phrases and a few of the ones you put under work, not at work but just in everyday life when I feel like I just can’t. I think its a process to stop but will aim to stop. Positivity is better! ;P

    Rai |

  3. I can be the guilty of the “stupid question” one myself.

    One to add into the first category is “no offence but…” – this is pretty much exclusively used when the person is about to say something offensive and, no, saying “no offence” first does NOT negate the offensive part!

  4. I’m terrible at using the phrases for doubting myself.. especially when asking questions. It’s definitley something that I need to work on as it’s always better to ask a “stupid question” then sit & worry about doing it wrong! x


  5. I’m one that you would describe as having ‘word diarrhea’; every kind of crap comes out of my mouth and there’s just no stopping it. It sometimes feels like as soon as I think of something, my mouth automatically says it out LOUD. Managed to get myself into trouble a few times because of that. I’m better now though, being around Little Tyke makes me shut up better. LOL!

  6. I think “I’m not being funny, but..”comes out of my mouth every now and then! πŸ˜€

    Great post, especially the work ones.

  7. Oh god I am definitely guilty of all the doubting myself phrases – feel like I start nearly every sentence with those haha. Love this, it’s a great idea for a post!
    Amy xx
    Call Me Amy

  8. This is such a good reminder about how our language ticks can really undermine us, especially the ones about self confidence! I might start fining myself every time I say one of these! Stephie x

  9. Could you imagine if everyone took your advice and actually put it into action. The internet seems to be a beacon for people who love these phrases. x

  10. When I used to be a manager, I hated it whenever anyone would say that’s not my job. That’s one I always try to avoid at work.

  11. These are some great tips πŸ™‚ we really need to be assertive and confident at work and we should always think before we say something out to someone.

  12. These are all really good points πŸ™‚ I’ve said the doubting myself ones more than twice this weekend alone…Tania xx

  13. Good point! The first ones are so annoying, if that person doesn’t want to hurt anybody… well, they can something else or in another way.

  14. Great post, I would have to say I’m definitely guilty of saying the doubting myself ones on many different occasions…And for the dick comments ones, I always feel that no offence but… Is and overused one that means trouble too. Loved the post though xx

  15. I was having a conversation about this today! I hate it when people say, ‘I’m not being funny but…’, uhm yeah, you ARE being funny/bitchy because if you weren’t you wouldn’t be saying it! Just come out with whatever your going to say, instead of trying to make out like you’re NOT being a dick but…

    Sarah πŸ™‚
    Saloca in Wonderland

  16. Haha! My stomach flinched at reading the title! first, because I am so done with negativity and doubting! second, I believe in your opinion. I was looking for a phrase I am still saying, but I don’t have any! I am proud πŸ™‚
    Although a couple of weeks ago I said ” I don’t mean to be rude but” .. yes I was kinda dick. I was so pissed.

  17. haha, i definitely say everything in the first category far too often, because i am a dick. but it really is true that you should check yourself when speaking because just by phrasing things differently you can come across as a much more confident, competent and positive person:-) xx

  18. I need to be a little more confident, I say all the doubting ones haha! Wooops.. There is nothing more annoying than the people who respond with ‘I can’t do that’ without even trying! I also hate the whole ‘I’m too busy to do this, so you can’ erm, can you not ask politely haha. I’m busy too! x

    Tamz |

  19. I’m terrible for undermining myself I just can’t help it and it then allows others to ignore you or not consider your point as important Lucy x

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