You’re chatting to your friend and she says something with a big smile but it just doesn’t feel genuine. When she says, “I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re annoying,” it makes you feel crap and that she was rude! It’s also annoying when someone tells you in person that they hope you’re well without actually asking you how you are. Ugh. While these phrases might seem nice on the surface, they’re actually not — and some can cause a fight. Here are eight phrases that people use when they’re pretending to be polite but clearly have a hidden agenda.
1. “No Offense, But…”
Your friend says, “No offense, but I think your boyfriend’s a loser.” Or, “No offense, but your dress makes you look ridiculous.” While the other person could be throwing a phrase like “No offense” into the conversation to make you feel like you’re not about to be verbally attacked, the words that follow are pretty mean! What’s up with this? Is your friend (or frenemy) trying to make you drop your guard so you’re surprised by the attack? They should’ve just gone straight for the jugular and been honest, instead of trying to mask their real thoughts.
2. “Can I Just Say…”
If someone asks you if they can say something but proceeds to tell you, why the heck did they even pretend to ask?! This boggles the mind. Unless they’re actually asking if they can ask you something and then waiting for your answer, they shouldn’t be faking their politeness. And, if they’re about to hurt your feelings, they should have the decency to ask if they can say something that might be upsetting. Even better – let them have enough self-control to keep their words in their heads until you ask for their opinion! Is that such a bad idea? FFS.
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4. “It’s Unfortunate That You Feel That Way…”
Your BF or friend hurt your feelings, then when you confronted them about it, they told you it’s “unfortunate that you feel that way.” Um, what? This basically means that you’re responsible for feeling sad/hurt/angry, even though they were the ones who hurt you! If they were really polite, they would’ve been the first to apologize for what they did to you. And, if they didn’t see what they did to hurt you, then they would’ve been open to more communication. Honestly, this “polite” phrase just feels like a shut-down.
5. “Can I Help?”
You’re lugging heavy groceries into the kitchen and your BF calls, “Can I help?” Your friend sees you’re about to have a meltdown at work and asks, “Can I help?” While it might sound polite for them to ask, sometimes it’s just better that someone jumps in and helps! If you don’t want the help, you’ll politely tell them that you don’t need any assistance, thank you. But honestly, if you’re already having a tough time, the last thing you need is to have to ask those around you for help, especially if they can see you’re struggling. SMH.
6. “Good For You!”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes when people exclaim, “Good for you!” when I’ve told them I’ve got strong boundaries or I’ve left my annoying boyfriend, it feels fake and condescending. I expect them to pat my head and tell me I’m a good girl. Ugh. I’d rather someone give me a genuine compliment, such as, “I’m glad you’re doing you” or “It’s good that you’re out of that horrible situation – you deserve better.” See? It’s so much nicer to be real and give someone valuable words.
7. “I Hate To Interrupt, But…”
You’re chatting to your friend about your stressful day, and they say, “I hate to interrupt, but I must tell you something that happened.” Um, really? This phrase is annoying for two reasons. First, if the person really hated to interrupt, they wouldn’t do it! Second, can’t they just be patient and wait for you to finish speaking before they jump in? FFS. Instead of trying to be polite, this phrase is straight-up rude.
8. “Don’t Take This The Wrong Way, But…”
Ah, this phrase is the equally annoying sibling of “No offense, but.” Whether you’ve asked for advice or you’re about to get some unsolicited advice, no one wants to hear “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…” It’s one of the most annoying phrases, because it’s basically setting off alarm bells in your head when you hear it. Honestly, you can’t help but expect something offensive to come out of the other person’s mouth! Enough with the niceness, people. Just spill and say what you want.
9. “Interesting Choice…”
Your friend asks you to tell her the premise of the fictional book you’re writing or fill her in on what you’re wearing to the club this weekend, and she replies by saying, “Oh, that’s an interesting choice.” Um, what does “interesting” mean? TBH, it sounds like the person’s subtly trying to criticize you. If they don’t like what you’ve said, they could’ve simply asked you more questions about it. Then, at least, they would’ve shown some interest. It’s really not that hard!