We all know some socially awkward people. They say the wrong things at the wrong time and often provoke strange looks from other members of the group.
But on the other hand, there are people who are much more socially intelligent. They know exactly what to say at the right time and are excellent at making others feel good when they are around.
Often it’s not what you say. It’s what you keep to yourself. That’s why people who are more socially intelligent than most refuse to say the following things:
1) “I told you so”
I’m not going to lie; Saying to someone, “I told you so,” is often very satisfying. But that doesn’t mean I tell other people when I’m right about something.
I have enough compassion in me to know that telling someone, “I told you so,” is a terrible thing and not something they want to hear when they make a mistake.
You see, socially intelligent people can put themselves in the shoes of others. They think twice about saying something harmful or derogatory.
And that’s essentially what sets them apart from most other people. They know that words can touch you deeply, so they don’t speak with their mouths.
Ultimately, saying “I told you so” comes across as arrogant or unsupportive. It’s better to focus on finding solutions together, right?
2) “You always/never do this”
This expression can be very hurtful, but at the same time it is also extremely popular. I mean, I’ve heard it many times.
Sometimes it was meant for me and sometimes for someone else. But using such absolute terms can further escalate conflicts.
It is more effective to address specific behaviors and situations. Sure, some people are more prone to making mistakes or bad decisions, but if you tell them they always/never do something, you’re not helping them or yourself.
A socially intelligent person wouldn’t do that. They understand that people can change, and they want to help them make the right decisions, not scold them for making the wrong decisions.
3) “That’s not my job”
I have to admit that until a few years ago my mentality was exactly this: “That’s not my job.”
And not only at work, but also in my personal life. I just couldn’t be bothered to do anything that I considered “out of my league,” so to speak.
That also meant that I didn’t go out of my way to help others, which I now regret. I like to think that I have done a 180 and that I respond much better to requests for help, but I also notice when I can and should help someone.
So instead of rejecting tasks outright, it’s better to help your fellow humans, even if it’s “not your job.”
4) “It’s not fair”
Life is rarely fair, and complaining about fairness can make you seem childish. Instead, address the concerns and propose solutions.
Rather than simply saying, “It’s not fair,” socially intelligent people take a more nuanced approach.
They express their concerns more specifically, give examples or propose solutions. This approach helps keep conversations positive and focused on finding solutions rather than just pointing out problems.
It’s a more constructive way to talk to people, especially those who are looking for solutions to their problems.
5) “I could be wrong, but…”
Socially intelligent people do not undermine their credibility. “I could be wrong, but…” undermines your credibility.
If you have an opinion, stand by it confidently or be open to discussion without belittling yourself.
If you want to appear more confident and confident, don’t use this phrase. It will only cause others to question your certainty and reduce your credibility.
Instead of starting with self-doubt, say something like, “I think,” “In my opinion,” or “From my perspective.”
This will find a balance between expressing your point of view and being open to discussion.
Ultimately, it’s all about exuding confidence while remaining open to diverse perspectives.
6) “This may be a stupid question, but…”
Another thing that can make you seem insecure is apologizing before asking a question. Just ask with confidence; everyone has questions.
And as I scroll through this list, I’m starting to realize how socially awkward I was for years.
I always apologized before asking questions and bothering anyone. Even those who were there to serve me or something like that weren’t what I did.
What I learned far too late in life was that people generally respond better when the person asking seems confident and engaged, which leads to more productive conversations.
7) “You’re too sensitive”
Socially intelligent people know that avoiding statements like “You’re too sensitive” is crucial.
This statement is dismissive and may hurt feelings, which is not a considerate approach in social interactions.
That’s because they are kind and understanding and create a space where everyone feels heard and valued.
So know that it’s a smart move to avoid expressions that dismiss emotions.
8) “I don’t have time”
Even though everyone is busy, saying you don’t have time is also very dismissive. Suggest an alternative or indicate when you are available.
We’ll get back to how willing you are to help others, right?
If you want to help, make time in your calendar. If not, there are ways to tell them without turning them away.
For example: ‘I’m in the middle of something, but I’m open to catching up later. Can we get together in time?” Or, “I’m stuck right now, but can we discuss this later?”
9) “I’ll try”
Saying “I’ll try” sounds sloppy. Smart communicators prefer to be clear and involved. It’s about being confident about what you can do.
Moreover, it is positive to use more specific words, such as ‘I will’. It shows confidence and determination. Socially intelligent people know that using strong language leaves a positive impression.
So skipping “I’ll try” for more confidence and certain language may seem small. Still, it’s a smart way to use words to build positive connections and demonstrate social intelligence.
10) “That’s not how we do things here”
Smart people understand that there can be many right ways to do things. So show that you are open to other ideas, rather than insisting on one way.
And instead of shutting down ideas, provide constructive feedback or explain the reasoning behind certain practices.
Situations can change. By not sticking too rigidly to one direction, you show that you can adapt and go with the flow.
And then we have this sentence:
11) “You’re wrong”
Stating outright that someone is wrong can quickly lead to defensiveness. No one wants to be wrong, let alone be told off for being wrong.
Rather than closing off someone’s perspective, avoiding a direct “You’re wrong” opens the door to constructive dialogue.
Moreover, by choosing a more diplomatic language, they reduce the chance of a defensive response.
So next time you want to Tell someone how wrong he or she is, do something different. Share your perspective and encourage healthy discussion.
Or why not ask questions to better understand the other person’s point of view? That way, they may come to the conclusion that they were, in fact, wrong about something.
The most important thing about socially intelligent people is that they usually don’t have to think about their actions and how they affect others.
They innately know that the things I mentioned in this list can be hurtful to people or at least misunderstood.
Even if you don’t want to hurt or ignore someone’s feelings, the things you say to them can really do that.
So if you don’t have enough experience or your tongue is faster than your brain, try talking less instead of more. You don’t have to be the one talking all the time, right?
Moreover, if you open your mouth, people will definitely know how socially awkward you are, but if you stay quiet, they will only guess.
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