Jillian Is.

4 things you say that piss people off:

First, let’s settle your burning question: “It’s not me, is it?”

Yep. It’s you. You and I both fall victim to our own self-centric thinking sometimes. We also both recoil when we collide with the self-centric statements of others.
I'm yawning and ignoring you

What are these statements? What 4 statements do we say and hear that are guaranteed to cause (and this is a real medical term) acute irritation of the nerves?

4. Look, just get to the point.

I’m gonna be nice about this one. I know we’re all busy. We all have 5 less minutes than we need to do each duty in our workday. We call them briefings because they should be what–BRIEF! But not at the expense of the story. If we ONLY said the critical phrase without context, you really don’t HAVE information. Life is not a bullet point – take in the background!

3. Don’t trust ANYONE. I mean, trust me, but NO ONE ELSE.

Let’s talk turkey. You stand in a position that puts me and my peers at a critical disadvantage regularly. And you tell me that no one else who takes exactly the same position is reputable. No one at all. But you ARE reputable — because you’re…you. That’s the only reason. Guess what? It’s only convincing you. So just drop the pretense. Say that whatever critical disadvantage I have to sustain is a fact of life. Policy. Routine. Not some act of discerning trust and faith. Who am I? Mowgli?

2. Look at me; if I can do XYZ, anyone can.

Yes, we are all you. We all had your mom and dad, your house, your afterschool activities, your bone structure, your blance and coordination, your college choice, your mentors, your physical trainer, your hairstylist — you see where I’m going here? Whatever it is that you’re trying to make sound easy, you just end up making yourself sound presumptuous. No skill or ability is applicable to the entire human population of earth. So if you want to apply your achievement to the lowest common denominator…well that’s going to u-turn right back to you. The star.

1. You haven’t experienced XYZ so you couldn’t possibly relate, judge, comment or observe!

I think that many of our jobs entail doing exactly all four of those things. For profit. With quantitative references. And contract fees — just sayin. If it’s our job to accurately engage publics who we don’t know from Adam and Eve, then we are ALL capable of comprehending whatever it is you are trying to avoid challenge on.

Now, this is the word of OneJillian. What say you?

Now that you know what’s going to suck the warmth out of the room, are you going to change your ways?

Jillian (7 Posts)

You've probably seen me before: I'm a Millennial/GenY Social Media, Community Management and SEO pro, who tinkers with websites and blogs in her off hours. As a hobby? I teach myself to read, write and speak Korean. I keep up with French as well. Oh yeah - I have natural hair. My most recent Big Chop? January 2013. In short, I'm your typical nerd stew.

5 comments for “4 things you say that piss people off:

  1. December 28, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Nice quartet. I would add any statement that begins with “Actually,…”

    • December 30, 2010 at 1:44 am

      What a coincidence – I had a person comment this exact word on my post from a couple of months ago: “5 words you should definitely always never say.”

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. December 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Personally, I’m going to pass out parkas so that after I suck the warmth out of a room, at least my audience won’t freeze. Seriously, hope to improve and eliminate these phrases. In reality? They may still sneak in- especially in non-business conversations. 🙂

    • December 30, 2010 at 1:42 am

      Jill (love the name!) #UsJills:

      I agree: we can’t remove any of these statements from our speech, even if we WANTED to.

      But I try to be conscious of what I say at all times, because I hate for “sound bites” to come back to haunt me.

      These are more of a guideline to help people say exactly what they mean every time thee talk, and to realize there is a PERSON who those words connect with.

      Thank you for commenting!