Social interactions are rift with faux pas and the proverbial “foot-in-the-mouth” situations. If we aren’t tongue-tied in an effort to think of smart and witty repartee, we usually end up saying the wrong thing at the wrong time at the wrong place. In retrospect, these blunders might seem amusing but the agony you undergo in that particular situation is no laughing matter. Although we can’t prepare you for all the silly errors you may end up making, here are 7 things you should never say in a conversation. And alongside that, the more appropriate thing you should.
1. “Oh My God! You’ve Lost a Lot of Weight.”
Women usually welcome any indication that they’ve shrunk in size. However, when you put it like that you make it sound like you were almost shocked; as though something of earth-shattering cataclysmic proportions has happened. Did she really look that ugly before she lost weight?
A politer thing to say would be, “Wow, you look really great? What’s your secret?”
2. “I Know This Sounds Stupid, but…”
When faced with a situation where we are required to advance ideas, we usually tend to undermine ourselves and word our suggestions in vague and wishy-washy phrases such as the one above. That's definitely one of those things you should never say in a conversation.
Instead, be straightforward and say with conviction, “Why don’t we…” or “Perhaps we could…”
3. “I Could Never, Ever Wear That!”
Why? Because it’s too ugly? Or you’re too refined to be caught in anything so shoddy? If this comment can be misconstrued as a criticism, always clarify your statement with a reason. “I could never wear that mini skirt, coz I don’t have legs like yours.”
4. “I Can’t Talk to You Right Now.”
Be it at the work place or in your house, we rattle this sentence off without stopping to think how rude it might sound to the other person. It gives the impression that you are brushing someone off high-handedly unless you back it up with a gracious explanation.
What you could do is say, “I’m in the middle of something here. Can I talk to you when this is done?” or “Can you give me a few minutes?” This way you aren’t too brusque and the other person feels valued too.
5. “You’ve Split up, Huh? You Were Too Good for Him Anyway.”
Or “I don’t know what you ever saw in that guy.” There are two reasons why this is one of those things you should never say in a conversation with a friend who’s recently parted ways with her boyfriend. One, you are indicating that she doesn’t have the ability to make sound judgments and two, it would put you in a really awkward spot, if they ever decided to get back together.
On a more diplomatic note, you could simply say, “His loss!” and leave it at that.
6. “I’m Glad You Broke up. I Didn’t like Him at All.”
While the earlier statement questioned your friend’s ability to choose the right guy, this one points a finger at your integrity and that’s just as bad. I mean, what kind of a two-faced person are you – pretending to like the guy when they were together and rushing to bitch about him that moment he’s out of sight? Better to put this on the list of things you should never say in a conversation!
Instead of whooping with joy that the dumb ass is out of her life, you should make her feel better about what’s to come in her life. Say something on the lines of, “Things will get better. Someone as lovely as you is sure to find a guy who’ll give you all that you are looking for in a relationship.”
7. “You Never…” or “You Always…”
Using absolute expressions like the ones mentioned above can put anybody on the defensive because you are pointing a long, bony, dirty finger at them. If the purpose of the argument is to play the blame game, go along, be my guest.
However, if you are looking to solve the problem, do not make it an all inclusive mud-slinging show. Move from “You always deliver your files late” to something more mature like, “I’m upset that you’re delivering late again. Can you please tell what we are going to do to fix this?”
I can think of plenty of other things you should never say in a conversation, but I am little cramped for space here so I might cover that in another post. The key to saying the right thing when speaking is to stop and think for one minute how this might affect the person in front of you. Better still, how would you feel if someone said the same things to you? If the answer to that is “Not very nice” you may want to rephrase the words coming out of your mouth. After all, we all want to get along with our fellow human beings and make a good impression, don’t we?
Top image source: excelle.monster.com