1. “Stop talking.”
This is not okay to say to anybody. If you’re trying to be intimidating, a quiet glare followed by a well-formed rebuttal will be more likely to strike someone down.
2. “Shut up.”
Where are you right now? Is it a playground outside an elementary school? If not, I recommend striking this one from your script completely.
Stop is an important word, but it weighs heavily on the brain. If you’re having a conversation with a friend and they remind you of that time you did something stupid that you full-heartedly regret and don’t want to talk about, before resorting to “stop,” try saying this instead: “Please, I would prefer not to discuss that at this time.”
4. “I’m talking.”
Interrupting someone with these words isn’t anywhere near productive, and even if you were talking first. They will continue to think about what they wanted to say and will subsequently dismiss whatever you’re saying completely. Try to hear them out, whether they interrupted you or not. Be the bigger person and they’ll be more likely to listen when you finally get your chance to speak.
5. “You’re disappointing me.”
Telling a child or a friend that they’re disappointing you is not the way to inspire positive change in that person. You might as well just say, “Hey, I don’t like what you’re doing/did and you’ll never live up to my expectations.” First of all, fuck your expectations of other people. Hold yourself to higher expectations. If you want to inspire someone to better themselves, better yourself. Try this instead: “I feel that you’ve made a mistake and I’d like to help you fix it and move forward.”
If you’re answering “no” to every single question that’s being asked of you, you’re not adding to the list of life experiences,but rather merely crossing off possibilities. I don’t mean you should always say “yes” to that fifth tequila shot. I mean don’t say “no” to things because you feel that you won’t measure up and would rather not see yourself fail. Say yes to that new hair cut, say yes to trying new foods, say yes to a new job that’s a bit out of your comfort zone.
7. “I’m sorry.”
If you find yourself apologizing on a daily basis, ask yourself why. Is it something you did? Were you the perpetrator? Was it something that actually merited an apology? Or did you feel guilted into that apology? Some of us fall into an endless cycle where we believe that every problem could have been prevented or was caused by us. If you’re finding yourself saying sorry a lot, but not hearing it, you’ve fallen for one of these cons. Break out. You deserve to stop apologizing. Stop saying those words. Take responsibility for your own actions and no one else’s.
8. “What’s wrong with you?”
Okay, stay with me. What the fuck is wrong with you? We’ve all been in a grocery store and heard a parent yelling this one at their kid. And, as it happens, lot of recent psychological studies have shown that these four words are the most damaging thing you can say to a person. If someone thinks something is wrong with you, they should kindly ask if you are okay or if something wrong. They shouldn’t shout these words at you unless their intention is to disarm you psychologically.
If you’re hearing all of these phrases or saying them on a regular basis, you should think about why. Why is such verbal negativity part of your life? If you’d like to cut some of these phrases out, try writing a list and putting it on your fridge or your desk at work. Let your friends, family, and coworkers know that this is a boundary you are setting. It’s incredible what a few days without hearing or saying these phrases can do for you emotional health.