Home Uncategorized 12 Seemingly Harmless Phrases That May Be Considered Toxic

12 Seemingly Harmless Phrases That May Be Considered Toxic

12 Seemingly Harmless Phrases That May Be Considered Toxic
12 Seemingly Harmless Phrases That May Be Considered Toxic

There is no doubt at some point that we have experienced a situation where we either gave advice that others didn’t ask for or we heard advice from others which we didn’t want to hear. People often say this without really thinking through how this might be perceived by the other person. They assume that you won’t want to listen to them but then proceed to tell you anyway without giving you any choice. This violates your boundaries and then blames your negative reaction on you in order to show that they are right.

2. “Everything happens for a reason.”

This is one I CERTAINLY resonate with. I remember when I heard this shortly after I had a significant life event in 2019. The person that said this was trying to comfort me and I do not think that there was any bad intent behind those words. However, I did not take too kindly to them being said to me given the circumstance. I did not think it happened for a reason and I wasn’t ready to think there was. For some people, this phrase can be followed with attempts to find someone to blame or to tell stories about karma and ‘what goes around comes around.’ A person who says these words believes that there is always a reason for everything, even if the situation is accidental.

3. “The things that don’t kill you make you stronger.”

We’ve heard this phrase in various different ways especially in films and music. It will usually be in moments when we feel powerless, that people will use powerful motivational quotes such as these to help raise our spirits, however they may have the opposite effect. After these words, a person may experience even greater anxiety and doubts in their own abilities. Psychologists say that about 70% of people experience severe psychological trauma in their lifetime (Feldman, 2017) so if negative events could really make us stronger, we would all be superhuman (16 Seemingly Harmless Phrases That Are Actually Toxic, 2020)

4. “I’d love to help you out but…”

According to custom essay papers and essay writing help, another saying which we all have said or heard at some point. However, for some people, it becomes part of their everyday language which then people come to expect. This person appears to always find an excuse for not helping you. While other people make promises that they simply can’t keep and this can have a toxic effect if you feel that you cannot fully rely on this person for support.

5. “Time is a healer”

Anybody who has experienced any significant life event, will probably have heard this phrase. Although this phrase does ring true in the grand scheme of things, it can irritate those who have experienced intense grief or a traumatic event. When people say, ‘time heals everything’, sometimes people will adapt or solve their trauma, but for others, the trauma may linger for the rest of their lives. There are things which cannot be fixed or solved; instead people may have to work harder on their inner healing and work on healing it intentionally. Each situation is unique, no one can say for sure how long your feeling of grief will last so for some, time may not always be a healer regardless of whether people tell you that it is.

6. “It’s not the worst thing in the world.”

This phrase is often used to enforce perspective taking, however the the fact that your situation is better than that of the starving children in Africa to people in war zones, won’t make you any happier. And it won’t relieve your pain (Sarkis, 2017). Some people unintentionally tend to want to simplify your problem by saying trivial things when actually, it can make you feel guilty about your own negative emotions and experiences.

7. “It’s nothing! Don’t worry about it!”

How often have we heard this from other people or even said it to somebody else? Perhaps after an exam or a job interview? Or after an accident or when you’ve made a mistake?  

People have been in this position will know that not worrying is easier said than done. This phrase may devalue your feelings and everything which you feel is important to you. Often, this attempt to support you may come across as heartless which may leaving you feeling like your experience and feelings are being neglected. In other words, your feelings are not important, valued or interesting, said Alexander L. from college paper and best essay writing service uk.

8. “Don’t say I told you so.”

Guilty as charged with this one! I recognise I have said this countless times, especially when I know that I have given advice and then it has been disregarded or not listened to. Admittedly, it does come across as ‘smug’ which does not help the person you are saying it do. The person will already feel bad for what they have or have not done and this phrase only makes them feel worse. It may even cause resentment and aggression. People who think they are always right will never miss an opportunity to attract attention to the mistakes of others (Jantz, 2013).

9. “I’ve been there too.”

This is how some people try to relate to you and what are going through but sometimes, it might actually not be the most helpful thing to say, especially if somebody is grieving. That person does not know how you feel as we all experience things differently. Everyone has their own unique story and situation. Someone else’s experience doesn’t help you go through hard times. (Caprino, 2017)

10. “Well, if I were you…”

Ever felt the urge to respond by saying “Well, you’re not! So mind your own business!”

Something what is done, can’t be undone. If that person hasn’t been in your shoes, then they can’t know exactly how they would have acted. Often, this comment can sounds like self-affirmation at the expense of another. Sometimes people may be trying to emphasise or sympathise but what happens is, it ends up sounding like they would have reacted in a better way to how you have.

11. “You’re strong so you’ll deal with it.”

I have heard this countless this times and although this is designed to come from a place of empowerment, usually you hear something like this when you don’t feel strong at all. It is perfectly normal to not feel strong at times. We are human after all and sometimes, we may need a reminder of that rather than feeling a false sense of power. This phrase is supposed to motivate you and give you strength but, according to psychologists, it’s useless and only reminds a person that they feel helpless (Schimelpfening, 2012)

12. “I only want what’s best for you.”

This phrase arguably does mean what it says on the tin and the person saying it may genuinely care for you and have your best interests at heart. However, sometimes, this phrase is usually followed by the unwelcomed invasion into your personal space and a piece of advice you never asked for. Often toxic people are pretty persistent and will prey on timid and shy people who don’t have enough strength to stop communicating with them.


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