+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Want to be better in conversations? Avoid these 10 phrases that are 'instantly unlikeable'

Please don't be a person that "tells it like it is."

conversation, conversation tips
Canva

As long as there are people in the world, we will need to know how to communicate effectively.

Conversation etiquette varies between generations, cultures and platforms. Younger age groups might take words once thought to be insulting and use them in an opposite way as a form of reclamation. In some countries, talking about politics or religion is considered rude, while in others it’s completely acceptable. And certainly, there are quite a few things muttered online that (hopefully) someone would never actually say out loud. (Though it might be a good practice to not type it, either.)

And yet, despite all the nuance, there are a few key approaches that create a widely agreed upon golden standard, such as active listening, having a clear purpose in what’s being said and, ultimately, showing respect for who is being spoken to. These simple guidelines can help a person be more engaging and charismatic, which can obviously be useful traits whether you’re looking to change the world or just connect with new people.

Likewise, there are fairly universal things that can be said in a conversation that instantly come across as unlikeable. Redditor u/theevilempire asked folks to list certain words or phrases that elicited an overall negative reaction when heard, and commenters didn’t hold back.

Some, if not many, of these commonly spoken expressions aren’t even inherently repelling, but are made that way simply because the person saying it is being hypocritical or insensitive. Others are just plain ol’ overused.

Without further ado, here are 10 phrases that make a person instantly unlikeable in a conversation:


1.“I tell it like it is”

via GIPHY

This was the top answer, with the general agreement being that a person who uses this phrase is not only being unnecessarily cruel under the guise of honesty, but they're also usually a person who can't take criticism from anybody else.

“We all need to hear hard truths sometimes. That being said, usually people who are ‘blunt’ and ‘tell it like it is’ are exactly the same ones who can dish it out but can't take it,” midget_rancher79 wrote.

Objective_Stick_2114 added: “Exactly. I think a person can be direct, to the point, and still be likeable. You don't have to be hurtful or brutal to be considered direct. It's the unsolicited judgemental comments that are most likely unnecessary, over-indulgent, and just mean. I find the most direct people actually do use a lot of discretion when speaking to others, and listen more than they speak.”

2. Any "I'm not [insert something here], but…" statements

via GIPHY

People had a ton of examples for this. “I’m not racist, but…”; “No offense, but…”; “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”;”Not to get political, but…” These statements are usually followed by things that would most likely be highly offensive/racist/politically leaning, etc, and therefore make the person saying it comes across like they wanted to insult someone without facing potential consequences.

3. Using mental disorders to describe a normal idiosyncrasy

via GIPHY

“I’m bipolar and I hate when people use it as a badge of quirkiness. Nobody brags about climbing the walls at 3 AM, nobody should aspire to burning their life down, nobody can throw away every relationship/career/education and think it’s something to be proud of.” – levieleven

“Any time a legitimate diagnostic term becomes slang for something it cheapens the effectiveness and value of the word. Not to mention the dismissive effect it has upon those who actually deal with the condition. I’m so sorry that you and others are disrespected this way so often. You deserve validation and respect for taking care of yourself, not to have your issues trivialized." – Drkphnx02

4. "I hate drama."

via GIPHY

“I have never heard someone say this, unsolicited, and not been exhausted with their shenanigans within a day.” – Spodson

5. "As an empath…”

via GIPHY

“I think self-proclaimed ‘empaths’ are either overestimating their own empathy or underestimating everyone else’s. And, only a person who lacks the ability to emotionally regulate or has narcissistic tendencies would try to make other people’s feelings all about them.” – HeyItsNotMeIPromise

6. Referring to exes as “narcissists”

via GIPHY

“I work in the behavioral health field and this one drives me crazy…Just because you both wanted different things in life doesn't make him selfish enough to be labeled with an actual personality disorder,oh my god. Just say you weren't compatible and move on with your life.No offense to those who actually did genuinely date a narcissist." – NightDreamer73

7. Using “corporate speak”

via GIPHY

Engagement, initiative, synergy, circling back…you get it. People hate it.

8. Describing oneself as an “alpha male”

via GIPHY

"Who in their right mind would describe himself as an alpha male and be serious about it? And how do you not die laughing at them?" – onesmilematters

9. Putting others down to make yourself look better

via GIPHY

“If a person humiliates others for the sake of boosting his own ego, I immediately stop communicating with that person” – AnastasiaFrid

10. "If you can't handle me at my worst you don't deserve me at my best"

via GIPHY

It's another way of saying "If you can't tolerate my downright abusive behavior, you don't deserve my complete indifference towards you." – quickshot125

Education

A school assignment asked for 3 benefits of slavery. This kid gave the only good answer.

The school assignment was intended to spark debate and discussion — but isn't that part of the problem?

A school assignment asked for 3 "good" reasons for slavery.



It's not uncommon for parents to puzzle over their kids' homework.

Sometimes, it's just been too long since they've done long division for them to be of any help. Or teaching methods have just changed too dramatically since they were in school.

And other times, kids bring home something truly inexplicable.
Keep ReadingShow less


Teacher Bret Turner thought he'd kick off the morning with his first-grade students using a little riddle.

On the whiteboard in the front of the class, he scrawled it out in black marker:

"I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere. I'm the beginning of eternity, the end of time & space."

One student raised their hand, the first to venture a guess.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

Non-Americans are sharing the ‘dead giveaway’ someone is American and they are pretty right

The dead giveaway is when they call me "honey" or "sweetie" or "darling."

via Flickr, Flickr, and Flickr

Three American tourists enjoying the sights.

One of the most interesting things about traveling the world is noticing how people from your country are a bit different from the place you’re visiting. In America, you’re mostly around fellow countrymen so it’s hard to notice the things that make us stand out.

But when you travel abroad, you quickly notice that no matter how hard you try to blend in, there are a lot of dead giveaways that show people you’re from the states that go way beyond your accent.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parenting

Teenage girl shamed for her ‘distracting’ outfit fights back in a very funny way

“[Because] she has a figure she was told she had to change.”

Photo from Facebook page.

A clever message written on her T-shirt.

A Lawton, Oklahoma, student who goes by the Facebook user name Rose Lynn had the last laugh after being sent home from school for wearing an outfit deemed "distracting." Rose Lynn believes her outfit attracted the attention of school officials because of her figure.

She proved it by posting a photo on Facebook of her modest outfit, which consisted of black leggings, a t-shirt, long cardigan, and boots. In her post, she wrote that she was sent home "because I'm developed farther than the average girl my age," and because she's a "CURVY woman." Rose Lynn also thinks the appropriate response shouldn't have been to tell her to cover up, but to teach boys to "to respect the boundaries of young ladies."

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

She tattooed half her face and you'd never know it. Her skills are just that good.

This incredible medical tattoo technology is giving renewed hope to burn victims.

All images via the CBS/YouTube

Basma Hameed runs a tattoo shop, of sorts...


Meet Samira Omar.

The 17-year-old was the victim of a horrific bullying incident.

Keep ReadingShow less

Taylor Swift at 2022 Toronto International Film Festival Red Carpet Day 2.

The wordsmiths over at Merriam-Webster have announced their official “Word of the Year for 2023,” they say it’s something we are “thinking about, writing about, aspiring to, and judging more” than ever.

The word is authentic.

According to the dictionary, the most common definitions of authentic are “not false or imitation,” “being true to one's own personality, spirit, or character,” and “worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.”

Merriam-Webster says the word saw a “substantial increase” in lookups this year. That’s probably because we now live in a world where artificial intelligence, deepfake technology and questionable memes challenge our basic notions of reality.

Keep ReadingShow less