Avoid These Phrases

It’s all too easy to say the wrong thing; sometimes it’s just a matter of how you phrase something that causes etiquette snafus. Real Simple has rounded up 18 common phrases you should avoid, and what to say instead.Photo by Sharon Mollerus.

The recommendations cover work and personal situations. For example:

  • Rather than tell a newly single person “You were too good for him” (implying she had bad taste), instead say “His loss!”, which communicates the same thing.
  • At work, if your supervisor asks you to do something outside your responsibilities, don’t say “That’s not my job.” A better approach would be to say it probably shouldn’t be your priority and then discuss your responsibilities with your boss.
  • This one’s probably obvious, but when applying for a job, don’t bad-mouth your old/current boss or employer.
  • And my favourite, because it’s true: Don’t tell someone they look tired, which might make her feel like she looks awful. Instead ask how the other person is doing or if everything is OK.

Find other recommended ways to say more polite and appropriate things in the article below.

18 Common Phrases to Avoid in Conversation [Real Simple]

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