Emotionally intelligent people know that words have a lot of power, and that saying certain phrases at certain times can make you look weak to others, even when the words are true. So if you want to be or look like an emotionally intelligent person, there will be some things you don’t want to say anywhere. They are phrases that have a special power because they have the ability to make you look bad even if what you say is true.
Worst of all is that “you are master of your thoughts but slave of your words” , so once you say them, there is no going back. We are not talking about comments that are politically incorrect … since these are not the only ways to make you look bad. Often times it is the subtle comments, the ones that paint us as incompetent and insecure , that do the most damage.
No matter how talented you are or what you’ve accomplished, there are certain phrases that instantly change the way people view you and can cast you in a negative light forever. These phrases are so loaded with negative implications that they can undermine careers in no time. How many of these phrases have you said or heard lately?
1. This has always been done
Technology-driven change is happening so fast that even a 6-month process could be out of date. Saying that this is the way it’s always been done not only makes you seem lazy and resistant to change , it can make people around you wonder why you haven’t tried to improve things on your own. If you are really doing things the way they have always been done, there is almost certainly a better way and you are out of date.
2. Nothing happens
When someone asks you to do something or thanks you for doing something, and you tell them that nothing is wrong, you are implying that their request should have been a problem. This makes people feel like they have imposed something on you. If instead you show that you are happy doing whatever you do, instead of saying “it’s okay” you can say something like “it was my pleasure” or “I was delighted to take care of this.” It’s a subtle difference in language, but it has a huge impact on people .
3. I’m going to ask a silly question / Maybe it’s a silly idea
These overly passive phrases instantly erode your credibility. Even if you follow these lines with a great idea, they suggest that you lack confidence, causing the people you are speaking to lose confidence in you. Don’t be your worst critic. If you are not confident in what you say, no one else will be either. And if you really don’t know something, say, “I don’t have that information right now, but I’ll find out and get back to you.”
4. It will only take a minute
Saying something like “it will only take a minute” or “it will only take a minute” undermines your skills and gives the impression that you are too impulsive when doing your tasks. Unless you’re literally going to complete the task in 60 seconds , feel free to say that it won’t take long, but don’t make it seem like the task can be completed sooner than it actually can be done.
5. I will try
Like the word think , try … sounds tentative and suggests that you lack confidence in your ability to perform the task is real. Take full possession of your abilities. If they ask you to do something, make a commitment to do it or offer an alternative, but don’t say that you will try because it seems that you will not try so much …
6. He’s lazy / he’s an idiot
There is no advantage in making a derogatory comment about someone. If your comment is accurate, everyone already knows, so there is no need to point it out. If your comment is inaccurate, then the one who seems vague, idiotic or some other derogatory term … is you .
If you don’t have the power to help them improve, then you have nothing to gain by conveying their ineptitude. Announcing someone’s incompetence is presented as an unsafe attempt to make you appear better when, from what you are showing, you are not . Your insensitivity will inevitably come back to haunt you in the form of other people’s negative opinions of you.