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.
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 right now 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 favorite, 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.
Obviously there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to your interactions, but you'll certainly find a few phrases you may be better off retiring. Find other recommended ways to keep your conversation more politic in the post at Real Simple, and let's hear your phrases-to-avoid (and preferred approach) in the comments.