9 Rude Things You Should Never Say
We all know how it feels to be on the receiving end of a comment that was best left unsaid—or bluntly, a comment that was just rude. People say rude things all the time, but that doesn’t make it OK! Great etiquette is about making other people feel awesome, and that goes for conversation, too. So let’s learn how to be a good conversationalist and avoid saying these things that are snarky, nosy, gross, sarcastic, or downright mean.
Have you lost weight?
You may mean to say this person looks good, yet you are also insinuating they were overweight. This gets especially awkward if the person hasn’t lost weight and wasn’t looking to lose any. Instead, say something like, “You look great! I wish I had your secret.” That gives the person an opportunity to mention a fabulous diet that strips off the pounds and makes the skin glow—or to just say “thank you.”
When is your baby due?
Again, you may mean to make polite conversation, but how will this go over if the woman isn’t pregnant? You’re better off not mentioning pregnancy. Simply ask how she is doing, and if she is pregnant and wants to share the news, she will.
What did you do to your hair?
This question comes across as a negative, when you very likely are trying to say something nice. Instead say, “I love your hair! Did you change something?”
How old are you?
Since not everyone is comfortable sharing their age, it’s impolite to put people on the spot. If you really want to know, you might organically work your age into a conversation, and see if the other person reciprocates.
Are you still single?
As someone who was single for many years, I hated this question. This question gives the impression that you think something is wrong with not having a partner. Instead, you might simply ask if that person has been seeing anyone special lately.
I don’t like (what’s being served).
When the host serves a food you don’t care for, announcing your displeasure can seem like an insult (or at least a downer). So keep quiet, nibble at the food you don’t care for, and never call attention to it. If you are asked directly about that food, try, “I’m not that hungry, but I enjoyed the conversation,” or, “I filled up eating that delicious rice pilaf.” And if you have a food allergy that leaves you unable to eat certain offerings, you should let your host know ahead of time.
As I just said . . .
This sneaky conversation killer really sounds like, “You don’t listen. You didn’t catch on the first time. You’re annoying and dumb.” You could be the know-it-all who points out that you already answered the question, or you could politely answer it again without embarrassing anyone. That may mean using different phrasing, elaborating more, or using different examples.
This should be easy.
Not only does this sound cocky, but it insinuates that anyone who has trouble doing the task is clearly below average. Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, and challenges. So never undermine anyone’s skills or contributions by telling them the job should be easy, especially if they are coming to you for help.
I told you so.
This is another one that sounds cocky. It also sounds like, “You should have listened to me. Give me credit for my awe-inspiring intelligence. You have no one to blame but yourself.” It’s a passive-aggressive way of building yourself up by tearing someone else down. And when someone is wrong, they don’t need to be reminded of it. What works better? Offering to help fix things.
Great etiquette means making other people feel amazing, not horribly uncomfortable. That goes for your words as much as your actions! So if you have a tendency to stick your foot in your mouth with poorly chosen or timed comments, it’s time for a game changer. Study a list of conversation starters before going to a social event, or ask a trusted friend to give you a sign that your comments are heading into dangerous waters. With a little practice, you’ll be at the top of your game in no time!