+
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

Family

Researchers studied kindergarteners' behavior and followed up 19 years later. Here are the findings.

Every parent wants to see their kid get good grades in school. But now we know social success is just as important.

Image from Pixabay.

Big smiles in class at kindergarten.



Every parent wants to see their kid get good grades in school. But now we know social success is just as important.

From an early age, we're led to believe our grades and test scores are the key to everything — namely, going to college, getting a job, and finding that glittery path to lifelong happiness and prosperity.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo collage created from Pixabay

Some different perspectives on the American experience.

Some 300 million people live in the United States. And over 40 million of them are immigrants.

Now, some people might have you believe that too many immigrants might cause us to lose our identity as Americans or that we ought to be fighting and clinging to "the way things were."

But if you look around, you'll see that more than 1 in 10 Americans were born somewhere else — meaning they have their own unique set of amazing experiences to share and their own amazing stories about why they're here.

Keep ReadingShow less

How often should you wash your jeans?

Social media has become a fertile breeding ground for conversations about hygiene. Whether it’s celebrities bragging about how little their family bathes or battles over how often people should wash their sheets or bras.

One of the debates that gets the most diverse responses is how often people wash their denim jeans.

Denim atelier Benjamin Talley Smith tells Today that jeans should be washed "as little as possible, if at all.” Laundry expert Patric Richardson adds they should be cleaned “after nine or 10 wearings, like to me, that is the ideal." At that point, they probably have stains and are "a little sweaty by that point, so you need to wash 'em," Richardson says.

Still, some people wash and dry them after every wear while others will hand wash and never hang dry. With all these significant differences of opinion, there must be a correct answer somewhere, right?

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

15 tweets that only married people will understand

Even the perfect marriage (if that exists) would have its everyday frustrations.

Photo from Twitter.

A typical... frustrating day.

Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life.

Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?”

Keep ReadingShow less


When the Philadelphia Eagles' season came to an unceremonious end last weekend, many fans were, understandably, more than a little pissed.

Take the rest of the night off to sleep in your shame, boys. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

After the final game, one fan allegedly commented on Facebook that the team had "played like they were wearing tutus!!!"

Photo by David R. Tribble/Wikimedia Commons.

...according to the Pennsylvania Ballet, which reported encountering the post on the social media site.

The Pennsylvania Ballet, whose company members regularly wear tutus, had a few choice words for anyone who thinks their light, frequently pink costumes mean they're not "tough."

Commence epic reply...


(full text transcribed under the post).

A Facebook user recently commented that the Eagles had "played like they were wearing tutus!!!"

Our response:

"With all due respect to the Eagles, let's take a minute to look at what our tutu wearing women have done this month:

By tomorrow afternoon, the ballerinas that wear tutus at Pennsylvania Ballet will have performed The Nutcracker 27 times in 21 days. Some of those women have performed the Snow scene and the Waltz of the Flowers without an understudy or second cast. No 'second string' to come in and spell them when they needed a break. When they have been sick they have come to the theater, put on make up and costume, smiled and performed. When they have felt an injury in the middle of a show there have been no injury timeouts. They have kept smiling, finished their job, bowed, left the stage, and then dealt with what hurts. Some of these tutu wearers have been tossed into a new position with only a moments notice. That's like a cornerback being told at halftime that they're going to play wide receiver for the second half, but they need to make sure that no one can tell they've never played wide receiver before. They have done all of this with such artistry and grace that audience after audience has clapped and cheered (no Boo Birds at the Academy) and the Philadelphia Inquirer has said this production looks "better than ever".

So no, the Eagles have not played like they were wearing tutus. If they had, Chip Kelly would still be a head coach and we'd all be looking forward to the playoffs."

Happy New Year!

In case it wasn't obvious, toughness has nothing to do with your gender.

Gendered and homophobic insults in sports have been around basically forever — how many boys are called a "pansy" on the football field or told they "throw like a girl" in Little League?

"They played like they were wearing tutus" is the same deal. It's shorthand for "You're kinda ladylike, which means you're not tough enough."

Pure intimidation.

Photo by Ralph Daily/Flickr.

Toughness, however, has a funny way of not being pinned to one particular gender. It's not just ballerinas, either. NFL cheerleaders? They get paid next to nothing to dance in bikini tops and short-shorts in all kinds of weather — and wear only ever-so-slightly heavier outfits when the thermometer drops below freezing. And don't even get me started on how mind-bogglingly badass the Rockettes are.

Toughness also has nothing to do with what kind of clothes you wear.

As my colleague Parker Molloy astutely points out, the kinds of clothes assigned to people of different genders are, and have always been, basically completely arbitrary. Pink has been both a "boys color" and a "girls color" at different points throughout history. President Franklin D. Roosevelt — longtime survivor of polio, Depression vanquisher, wartime leader, and no one's idea of a wimp — was photographed in his childhood sporting a long blonde hairstyle and wearing a dress.

Many of us are conditioned to see a frilly pink dance costume and think "delicate," and to look at a football helmet and pads and think "big and strong." But scratch the surface a little bit, and you'll meet tutu-wearing ballerinas who that are among toughest people on the planet and cleat-and-helmet-wearing football players who are ... well. The 2015 Eagles.

You just can't tell from their outerwear.

Ballerinas wear tutus for the same reason football players wear uniforms and pads:

Photo by zaimoku_woodpile/Flickr.


To get the job done.


This article originally appeared on 01.05.16

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo courtesy of Kara Coley.


Kara Coley, a bartender at Sipps in Gulfport, Mississippi, got an unusual phone call on the job last week.

"Good evening," Coley answered. "Thank you for calling Sipps!"

A woman on the other end of the line asked, "Is this a gay bar?"

Sipps welcomes everyone, Coley explained to her, but indeed attracts a mostly LGBTQ crowd.



Keep ReadingShow less