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Everyone has gone through a point in their lives when they said something that was taken the wrong way. Whether it’s an offensive joke or a wrong comment. These tips will help keep you safe from making any mistakes that may sabotage your conversation or maybe even your entire relationship with a person.

“You look tired”

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The phrase ‘you look tired’; while it is not bad by intentions; can go very wrong. ‘Tired’ people are usually characterized as very unappealing, they usually have messy hair, droopy or red eyes, a worn-out face and a very grumpy or unpleasant attitude. Saying that someone looks ‘tired’ implies that the person holds these very characteristics. This may offend the person as it may imply that they do not look appealing or that they look dreadful. This can have even worse repercussions if the person is not actually tired at all and it would seem as if you are making these offensive remarks about their regular self. In its place, you can ask ‘Is everything alright’? Majority of people ask if someone’s tired only with good intentions, to show that they care. While the phrase ‘you look tired’ suggests you’re assuming someone’s condition, saying ‘is everything alright’ is a phrase that suggests that you are only asking. This way, the person can open up to you. Not only does this help show your concern but also helps make conversation.

“As I said before”

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Using a phrase like this comes off in an offensive tone and appears very rude to the other person. It feels as if you are upset about having to repeat something that you have said before and it may drive the receiver away as they may actually be interested in learning your point of view. If a person thinks that you feel too insulted repeating yourself, you may come off as condescending or as a grumpy person, this decreases the chances of you making conversation with that person again even if you did not mean to come off that way. To avoid having to constantly repeat yourself in the future, you can try to explain your point of view in a more clear way, by making it sound more interesting perhaps.

“Good luck”

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This phrase is not one that is conventionally taken the wrong way but it suggests that the person needs luck on their side in order to succeed or that they have bad luck generally. A phrase like “I know you can do it” may be more suitable as it implies that you have confidence in that person and that you believe they can accomplish whatever task that lies ahead. Not only does this increase your social skills but also helps build confidence in that person.

“Whatever you want”

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While your response may conflict the other person’s response, that person will want your input on the subject and not giving a clear answer may appear rude or leave them frustrated. Instead, try your best to give an input no matter what, this can help the other person with whatever subject they need your input on.

“Well at least I haven’t ever”

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Using a phrase like this may be the worst possible thing you can do in an argument. This is a very wrong and aggressive way to shift the recipient’s attention from an irrelevant mistake they may have made a long time ago. Not only is this a bad way to go about an argument but it is also very counterproductive and may bring up old animosities between you and the recipient.  Instead of this, just apologize. Own up to your mistake, it is not degrading at all but it is a very adult and rational way to go about an argument. Instead of heating up the argument, it can help take the argument to a more passive direction and help reach a conclusion as well.

“Wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight”

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While this is another comment which is well-intentioned, it does not come out right. Telling someone that they’ve lost weight shows that you’re being critical of their physical appearance and that you’re implying they were unattractive or overweight before. Instead, start with a more direct compliment such as ‘You look amazing’; this one shows that you’re not comparing their physical appearance now or before but instead, implying only that they look great.

“You look great for your age”

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This phrase can be taken very wrongly. Using ‘for your’ in a compliment can never come off as good. This compliment comes off as very rude and condescending. No one wants to be referred to as someone who can only be fit relative to their age. Instead, just say something conventional such as ‘you look great’ or ‘you look fantastic’.

“You were way too good for him/her anyway”

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Whenever a relationship ends, there always has to be one friend to calm the person down or help them. You will find yourself in this situation many times, however, saying that the person was too good for their ex-partner implies they have bad taste. Instead, say ‘His/her loss”, this is also a very consoling compliment while at the same time not coming off rude or aggressive at all.

“You always”/”You never”

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People are not one dimensional. No one ‘always’ or ‘never’ does something. Attempting to define them in such a way is both insulting and wrong. Phrases like this force the person to become defensive and they are used way too often which is bad as during a discussion you would want full disclosure. Instead, you can try and point out the fact that you have a problem with the person repeating a particular act or phrase. Say something like ‘It seems like you do this too often’. This is a relatively passive term and would usually not offend the person.

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