15 Things You Say About Yourself That Has A Negative Effect On Other People
Ever notice how your negative comments and self-deprecating jokes are often met with a chorus of sighs and dramatic eye rolls? That's because there are some things people just hate hearing, even if you didn't really mean anything by it. This list also includes humble bragging, fishing for compliments, and/or saying "sorry" when you totally don't need to apologize.
The list really does go on and on. And because these comments can rub people the wrong way, it's always a good idea to bear them in mind when out chatting and interacting with others. "While you should always be your authentic self, it’s also important to recognize how you come across to others," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. "If you present yourself in a way people find annoying or offensive, they aren’t going to take you seriously."
Either that, or the people in your life might grow tired of your "jokes" and negativity, and eventually feel burnt out, while others might cringe every time your speak, since they know you're about to say something horrible. Since that's not how any of us want our loved ones to feel, try to keep these statements in mind, and remember — they really can be off-putting.
1. "I suck"
Try to avoid putting yourself down or pointing out your flaws with "I suck" statements. Not only are comments like these uncomfortable for others to hear — mostly because it puts them in a position where they'll feel compelled to counter what you're saying — but the message can start to affect your brain, too.
"If, over time, you continue to put yourself down unnecessarily, you could start to believe that what you are saying is true," says author and life coach Kali Rogers. "Instead, try to highlight what you like about yourself instead of pointing out what you don't. This isn't really for other people's comfort, but it's a good habit to get in regardless."
2. "Ugh, I look horrible in this..."
It's normal to occasionally fish for compliments. But if you do it all the time, I can assure you people will tire of it quickly. "It's easy to tell when you are being authentic about negative aspects of yourself, and when you genuinely just want validation from others that you're actually better than you think," Rogers says. "Save the time and instead say silent affirmations to yourself about your strengths and finer qualities, instead of asking others to say them out loud for you."
3. "I have no idea why, but I just got promoted"
Hey, you're allowed to pat yourself on the back, especially if you really kicked ass at something. But keep in mind: there is nothing worse than a humble brag. "Pretending to be selfless while also bragging about yourself is even more annoying than outright bragging," says Bennett. "It’s fine to talk openly about your accomplishments in the right contexts, but pretending to be modest while clearly bragging is going to rub most people the wrong way."
4. "Yea? Well, you wouldn't believe what happened to me"
In the same vein, try not to share stories if your only aim is to one-up somebody. "When people are talking about a proud moment or accomplishment, nothing spoils the discussion faster than the man or women who feels the need to chime in about his or her superior example," Bennett says. "Don’t ruin the fun of others by always having to hog the spotlight."
5. "Oh, this old thing? It was on sale"
Some of us don't like hearing compliments, and that's totally fine. "However, resist the urge to deny the compliments others give you. For example, if someone says they like your sweater, don’t explain how it’s just something secondhand you got from the thrift store and isn’t really that great. This behavior makes it very awkward for the person trying to give you an honest compliment," Bennett says. And I know that's not your intention.
6. "Well, it probably wouldn't have worked out anyway..."
Have you ever gone on and on about exciting plans, and then ended the convo by saying it'll probably not work out? If so, here's your friendly reminder to stop — for your sake, and everyone else's. "It’s OK to be genuinely excited and hopeful about something," says life coach Samantha Siffring. "Pretending you aren’t will not make the disappointment any easier if it doesn’t work out. Might as well go into it with a positive outlook."
7. "Sorry but dinner isn't great"
So many of us apologize unnecessarily, and in many instances, it can really make others feel uncomfortable. "Apologies for a messy house, apologies for food you made me that looks and tastes perfectly fine, apologies that you couldn’t afford a larger birthday gift, etc. I know you’re insecure about these things, but I am not judging you for them — stop judging yourself," Siffring says.
8. "This cost XYZ..."
Obviously it's fine to chat money with friends and family, but some people really don't want to hear how much things cost — especially if it's a thinly-veiled humble brag. "If you're speaking about a new purchase or a trip you just took, people don't want to hear how much you spent," says NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. "This can come off as bragging and is a huge turnoff."
9. "I'm so lucky to be in a relationship"
When you're new to a relationship, it's relatively normal to be excited and talk about it nonstop. But do be aware of your audience. "This should be avoided, especially in front of people not single by choice," Hershenson says. "You also don't know what others are going through. Perhaps a friend is struggling in their relationship and the last thing they want to hear is how perfect yours is."
10. "I hate myself"
If your immediate response to an honest mistake is, "Ugh, I hate myself," make a point of eliminating the phrase from your vocabulary. As Siffring tells me, it's just not a likable, or genuine, thing to say, and it puts people on the spot. "Instead of offering a sincere apology to the person you’ve hurt, you make everything about yourself and ask them to take on the duty of having to talk you down and take care of your feelings."
11. "I have sooo much to do"
It's totally fine to vent to friends, but if your busy schedule is all you ever talk about, or if you're just using it as an excuse to get out of plans, take note. "Yes, we know you have a lot to do. Guess what? So do we," Siffring says. Since busyness is a fact of life, droning on about it sounds like a complaint or an excuse. And nobody wants to hear that.
12. "I'm always XYZ..."
If you speak in absolutes like "I'm always this" or "never that," you will undoubtedly rub people the wrong way. And, you might even put yourself in a situation where you're more likely to let them down. As clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow says, "Absolutes sadly fall short for most people and the more you use them, the less credible you are. Phrases like 'I try to,' 'I strive to,' or 'I work at' are much more accepted by a larger number of individuals."
13. "I screw up everything up"
Again, it's OK to be lighthearted and make a few jokes about yourself, but be careful you're not crossing over into that self-deprecating territory. "Self-deprecating humor may have been fun when you were a child because it was easier to make fun of yourself (and less painful) than have your peers insult you," says psychic and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport. But as you get older, it's much better to show others how to treat you by also being kind to yourself.
14. "I don't like my nose/bags under my eyes/hips/etc."
If you don't like something about yourself, and point it out regularly, you're putting others in a tough spot. And you're not doing yourself any favors, either. "Finding fault with your appearance is another way people trash talk themselves," says Rappaport. "Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your appearance, focus on what you do like about your appearance and capitalize on it."
15. "Oh, it was nothing"
If someone is thanking you, go ahead and accept their thanks, instead of brushing it off or saying it was nothing. Again, a comment like this can put people in an awkward spot where they don't know what to say back. As Siffrings says, "Just let us be appreciative of you! 'You’re welcome' is the proper response."
People hate it when others put themselves down, brush off thank yous, or fish for compliments because it's just not very likable. If you can catch yourself next time, you'll be doing yourself — and your friends — a favor.
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