15 Things People Who Lack Emotional Intelligence Say Without Realizing Their Impact

As a writer, I’m really thoughtful when it comes to my words. I try not to speak without thinking, especially since I realize that even if I don’t mean any offense or harm with the things I say, other people might feel differently. Obviously, it’s a work in progress — I still fly off the handle sometimes and speak recklessly. However, I try to never say the following sentences since they’re the mark of people who lack emotional intelligence.

1. “Everyone else thinks it’s fine.”

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When someone with low emotional intelligence says something like this, they’re often dismissing someone’s unique feelings or concerns. This phrase can make someone feel isolated or like their opinion doesn’t matter. It’s a way of invalidating the other person’s experience by implying that they’re the only one with a problem, which can be pretty isolating. It shuts down the conversation and discourages openness, as well. Being emotionally intelligent means recognizing that each person’s feelings and perspectives are valid, even if they differ from the majority.

2. “That’s just how I am.”

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People who lack emotional intelligence might use this one as an excuse for their behavior without considering how it affects everyone else (and how annoying it makes them sound). This phrase can come off as stubborn and unapologetic, suggesting that they’re not willing to change or consider other people’s feelings. It can be frustrating for the person on the receiving end because it shuts down any possibility for growth or improvement in the relationship. A more emotionally intelligent response would involve a willingness to reflect on one’s own behavior and its impact on others.

3. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

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This is a common way people with low emotional intelligence dismiss other people’s opinions or feelings. It’s confrontational and belittling, making the other person feel undervalued and misunderstood. This kind of statement shuts down healthy communication and makes it hard for the other person to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts in the future. Emotionally intelligent communication involves respecting other people’s viewpoints and engaging in constructive conversation rather than trying to shut people down all the time. (By the way, if you’re sick of coming across people like this in the dating world, you need to give our sister site, Sweetn, a visit. They have some game-changing advice, tips, and tricks to completely overhaul your love life in just a few weeks. Check them out here.)

4. “Why are you making such a big deal out of this?”

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People who lack emotional intelligence often accuse people of making a “big deal” out of their concerns just because they don’t want to deal with them. This phrase minimizes the other person’s feelings and suggests that their reaction is unwarranted or exaggerated. It’s dismissive and can make people feel like their emotions aren’t valid or understood. A more empathetic response would be to acknowledge the person’s feelings and try to understand their perspective, even if it seems different from your own.

5. “You’re overthinking it.”

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Wow, could you be more dismissive and patronizing? It suggests that the other person’s concerns or thoughts aren’t valid or that they’re making something out of nothing. This phrase can shut down meaningful conversation and make someone feel like their thoughts aren’t worth exploring. A more understanding approach would be to listen and discuss what’s going on, providing reassurance or a different perspective without belittling their worries.

6. “I don’t get why you’re so upset about this.”

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When someone says, “I don’t see why you’re upset,” they’re essentially dismissing the other person’s feelings yet again. This phrase shows a lack of empathy and understanding. It implies that just because they don’t feel the same way, the other person’s emotions don’t matter or aren’t real. Emotionally intelligent communication involves trying to understand the other person’s perspective, even if you don’t immediately relate to their feelings.

7. “You always do this.”

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Using absolutes like this can be damaging and unfair. It’s a way of labeling someone’s behavior without considering the context or their perspective. This kind of statement can make the other person feel unfairly judged and boxed into a negative image. It’s more productive to address specific behaviors and situations, rather than making sweeping generalizations.

8. “I’m not listening to this.”

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Saying this is a clear sign of low emotional intelligence as well as extreme immaturity. It’s a way of shutting down communication and refusing to engage with the other person’s perspective. This phrase is dismissive and disrespectful, leaving no room for understanding or resolution. Emotionally intelligent communication involves staying open to real conversation, even when it’s challenging.

9. “You’re being irrational.”

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Calling someone irrational is a way of dismissing their thoughts and feelings as illogical or unimportant. It can be demeaning and belittling, making the person feel like their perspective isn’t even worth considering. Instead of labeling someone’s response as irrational, it’s more helpful to try to understand their perspective and actually talk like a grown adult.

10. “I’ve got bigger problems.”

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Using “I’ve got bigger problems” to respond to someone’s concerns shows a lack of empathy and understanding. It trivializes the other person’s issues and suggests that their problems aren’t important. This phrase can make someone feel small and their worries insignificant. Being emotionally intelligent means recognizing that everyone’s struggles are real and deserve attention, regardless of how they compare to your own.

11. “Whatever works for you, I guess.”

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This just comes off as disinterested or dismissive. This phrase can make it seem like they’re indifferent to the other person’s choices or opinions. It’s a subtle way of distancing themselves from the conversation or the person’s decisions, implying a lack of support or engagement. Instead of seeming nonchalant, it’s more emotionally intelligent to show genuine interest and provide constructive feedback or support.

12. “This is just boring me.”

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Obviously, this is a pretty blunt way of expressing disinterest, but it can be quite hurtful. It shows a lack of regard for what the other person is sharing and can make them feel unimportant or boring. This phrase shuts down any possibility of meaningful interaction and can damage relationships. You could be more considerate and steer the conversation in a direction that’s more engaging for both of you instead.

13. “If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

 

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Telling someone not to worry about something they’re clearly worried about just minimizes their concerns. It implies that their worries aren’t significant or worth attention, which can be invalidating. This phrase denies the person’s unique perspective and experiences. Recognizing and validating someone’s concerns, even if they seem trivial to you, is a key aspect of emotional intelligence.

14. “That’s so typical of you.”

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This is a way of pigeonholing someone based on past behavior. It can feel judgmental and limiting, as if they’re not capable of change or growth. It can also completely destroy your chances of a constructive conversation and make the person feel like they’re constantly under scrutiny. Emotionally intelligent communication involves treating each situation and reaction as unique and not basing responses on preconceived notions.

15. “I have no sympathy for you.”

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Saying “I have no sympathy for you” is an outright dismissal of someone’s struggles or feelings. It’s a harsh way of expressing indifference and can be incredibly hurtful. This phrase lacks compassion and understanding, key components of emotional intelligence. Showing empathy, even in situations where you might not fully agree or relate, helps maintain respect and connection in relationships.

16. “Deal with it yourself.”

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This one comes across as cold and unsympathetic. It suggests a lack of interest in the other person’s situation or challenges, and it’s a way of pushing away responsibility and refusing to offer support or assistance. Instead of fostering a sense of teamwork or camaraderie, it isolates the person dealing with the issue. An emotionally intelligent approach would involve at least offering to help brainstorm solutions or providing moral support, showing that you’re there for them even if you can’t solve the problem directly.

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Originally from Australia, Emma Mills graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual degree in Philosophy and Applied Linguistics before moving to Los Angeles to become a professional matchmaker (a bit of a shift, obviously). Since 2015, she has helped more than 150 people find lasting love and remains passionate about bringing amazing singletons together.

Emma is also the author of the upcoming Hachette publication, "Off the Beaten Track: Finding Lasting Love in the Least Likely of Places," due out in January 2025.