+
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

Married couple swears by the '3-Hour Night' as a relationship game changer

"If you’re stuck in a rut with your evenings — try this!"

@racheleehiggins/TikTok

Want out of a relationship rut? The Three hour night might be the perfect solution.

Almost every long term relationship suffers from a rut eventually. That goes especially for married partners who become parents and have the added responsibility of raising kids. Maintaining a connection is hard enough in this busy, fast paced world. Top it off with making sure kids are awake, dressed, entertained, well fed, oh yeah, and alive…and you best believe all you have energy for at the end of the day is sitting on the couch barely making it through one episode on Netflix.

And yet, we know how important it is to maintain a connection with our spouses. Many of us just don’t know how to make that happen while juggling a million other things.

According to one mom, a “three-hour night” could be just the thing to tick off multiple boxes on the to-do list while rekindling romance at the same time. Talk about the ultimate marriage hack.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image from YouTube video.

How to become the butt of a joke.

In case you were wondering, don't mess with comedian Steve Hofstetter. The stand-up comic posted a video of himself recently shutting down a heckler who didn't like Hofstetter taking a break from his routine to praise Jessica Mendoza, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and Stanford graduate, who last year became the first female to call a professional baseball game.

"Next!" the heckler shouts. At first, Hofstetter is caught off guard but then he tries to give the guy a chance to explain what he found "offensive" about celebrating this historic moment in sports. "You and I can talk later," the anonymous guy says, directly challenging an earlier warning from Hofstetter to not approach comedians after shows.

Keep ReadingShow less
Modern Families

Mom shocked when boomer mother-in-law refuses to be called grandma and demands royal title

Many of the older generation refuse to be known as “grandma” or “grandpa.”

via Eviekizmet/TikTok and RDNE Stock project/Pexels

This mother-in-law will not be called "grandma."

A TikToker’s story about the grandiose title her mother-in-law chose instead of grandma is an excellent example of the growing trend of baby boomer grandparents rejecting their traditional titles.

A new mother who goes by the name EvieKizmet on the platform shared the story on January 6 and it received nearly 2 million views.

It all started when she and her husband asked her mother-in-law to choose the name she would use as a grandparent. Using a fake name as an example, she said that her mother-in-law chose “Mama Smith” and that didn't sit well with the mother. “Because realistically, a child is not going to call you by 2 names and it's going to be shortened to Mama. I'm a mama. Not you," she said.

Keep ReadingShow less

What dog is best for you?


PawsLikeMe might know you better than you know yourself.

Hello from the other siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide!!! I'm a dog and I love youuuuuuuu!!!

Because PawsLikeMe knows about your dreams.

Your DOG dreams, that is.

How? A dog-human personality quiz!

A sophisticated one, too! From their website:

"The personality assessment is based on 4 core personality traits that influence the human-canine bond; energy, focus, confidence, and independence."

It also takes into account environmental factors and other special circumstances as well.

It's not uncommon for dogs that are adopted to be returned because they just aren't compatible with their owner's life.

Keep ReadingShow less
Community

Train station custodian's act of kindness makes father traveling solo feel seen

Taking your young daughter to a public bathroom as a dad can be tricky.

Kier Gaines|Instagram

Dad thanks train station attendee for validating act of kindness

Any time you travel with a small child it ups the ante a bit. Did you bring enough stuff to entertain them? Did you pack the right snacks? Should you have brought an extra change of clothes just in case? Is it now customary to hand out small bags full of ear plugs and treats for all of the passengers for daring to leave your house to use a public form of transportation?

It's enough to stress you out before you even get down the street. But one of the trickiest parts of traveling with small children of the opposite gender is figuring out public bathrooms. It's usually fairly simple for moms, bathrooms for women have changing tables installed for babies and disabled individuals. They're also usually kept fairly clean and women visiting the facilities think twice about a little boy going into the women's bathroom with his mom.

Dads on the other hand aren't always comfortable bringing their daughters into the men's room with them. Plus rumor has it that men's rooms aren't always the cleanest for girls to go potty.

Keep ReadingShow less

Joey Mulinaro's impressions of classic TV characters is impressive.

It's been almost 25 years since "Seinfeld" premiered, marking the beginning of a nine-season run that would result in 68 Emmy nominations, 10 Emmy wins and dozens of other television awards.

No one had ever really seen a show like "Seinfeld," with its bizarrely iconic characters, scenarios and one-liners that became instant classics in American culture. "No soup for you!" would be a meaningless phrase if it weren't for the silly sitcom. Who can do the best Elaine dance is still a favorite competition at parties. The tongue-in-cheek "show about nothing" was really something, and the writing and those characters are still etched in the collective conscience.

That's why Joel Mulinaro's TikTok skit of a fake "Seinfeld" scene about the Stanley cup craze has gotten over 750,000 views in one day. His Jerry, George and Kramer impressions are impressive, especially considering the fact that he looks nothing like any of the actors who play them. But the writing is where the skit really shines—you might swear the skit was written by Larry David himself.

Keep ReadingShow less