We’ve all been in that situation where we feel like putting our foot in our mouth. While we may have our slips, smart people are conscious of the words they say. They may have bad days as well, but they tend to be more conscious of their words than, well, the rest of us.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
In order to be smarter about the words you use, you should be aware of what you shouldn’t utter. Words that come out of our mouths can be interpreted in four ways: positive, negative, neutral or unclear. Smart people are more conscious and deliberate with their words.
They don’t just ‘spill the beans’ without first ‘picking the beans’. This ability to be more empathetic and to be conscious about what and what not to say is called Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” In this case, being book smart doesn’t cut it. Whereas, you need to be emotionally smart.
Therefore, having a high IQ doesn’t mean you have been saying the right words all your life. In order to be certain, below are words and phrases you should never be caught saying EVER!
Eight things smart people should never say, no matter what
1. “I’m, like, a smart person.”
Superb. Wonderful. You tell practically everyone you come across that you’re smart. However, what you don’t understand is that it just raises red flags that you aren’t. Someone who is really smart and intelligent would never hoot their own horn randomly. When people boast about their IQ, they actually tend to lack self-confidence and feel inadequate instead. They are seeking validation from others and want to brag so they get just that. So, yes, we said it just like Stephen Hawkings did, “I have no idea. People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.”
2. “That’s not fair!”
Everyone knows life isn’t fair, but saying it would only make you sound immature and whiny. Most especially, if you have outgrown the diapers and kiddies table, why are you still being childish? This is exactly how people would perceive you even if your situation is indeed unfair. Odds are, everyone else knows that you’re being unfairly treated, so be the adult and just find a better approach to resolving the matter. Saying ‘that’s not fair’, would not resolve the matter in any way.
3. “This is the way it’s always been done.”
Good for you, clap for yourself because you know this. But you voicing it out just makes you seem primitive. In this technologically advanced age, it is only expected you move with the tide. Sticking to the odd norms just makes you seem less innovative. This is probably why you get the snide remarks from your boss or whomever you voice this opinion too. Therefore, rather than saying this, find a better approach to solving whatever situation there is.
4. “You look tired.”
While it may seem like an innocent comment, not everyone would return this one with a smile. Saying this makes someone feel like all their problems are out in the open for everyone else to see. So, yes you may see it but people are dealing with different issues, so you can just ignore it instead. Another approach is to state your opinion empathetically by asking, “Is everything okay?” That can encourage the person to talk about the situation – whatever it is.
5. “It’s not my fault.”
When you’ve actually done something wrong or played a part in it, own it. This is contrary to the undesired reaction of saying, ‘It’s not my fault.’ Casting blame to someone else or throwing others under the bus is just unprofessional of you. No matter how you were once regarded, people tend to see you differently. If you truly aren’t to blame then you can offer a dispassionate explanation of what truly occurred. If you are to blame, then be accountable and also render some sort of explanation too.
6. “Good luck.”
This is indirectly saying, “You can’t really do it, so bank on luck to make it through.” Luck takes an outcome out of the person’s hands and subjects it to outside influences or chance. Therefore, say something more in alignment with the person’s ability to boost the person’s confidence. Words like “I know you can do it” are far better than “Good luck”.
7. “I’ll try.”
Having not yet started, you are already chickening out. Using the word “try” sounds tentative and lacks confidence. Similarly, saying you will try is leaving leverage for failure from the onset. Rather than saying you will do it, you are saying you will make an attempt but if you fail they shouldn’t hold you accountable, because after all, you said you’ll ‘try’. Therefore, you should commit yourself to doing things, and believe in your ability to do them. First, chalk the words ‘try’ and replace it with an ‘I Can’ attitude.
8. “This may sound stupid but…”
End it there. Just end it, really. Any sentence or word that comes after that — no matter how brilliant it is — would be assumed as ‘stupid’. The mind is beautiful and tends to pick up on the smallest things. First, you lack confidence in whatever you’re about to say. Second, it reflects in whatever idea you give or write, so people would lose confidence in your opinion just the way you lost confidence before you started sharing it. If you aren’t sure about your view, then it’s fine to stay quiet, do your research and then give an amazing suggestion later on.
As a smart person, you should be more confident in yourself and in what your response means to people. Therefore, be more positive and choose your words wisely.