10 phrases only genuinely classy people use, according to psychology

There’s a clear distinction between simply acting sophisticated and truly embodying class.

Class, at its core, is about respect – for others and for oneself. It shines through in the language we use.

As a student of psychology, I’ve noticed that genuinely classy people often employ certain phrases in their conversations. These phrases not only reflect their class but also subtly influence those around them.

Let’s get started. 

1) Excuse me…

In the world of communication, the phrase “excuse me” holds a lot more weight than just getting someone’s attention.

According to psychology, genuinely classy individuals use this phrase not only to politely interrupt or navigate through a crowd, but also as an expression of empathy and consideration for others.

“Excuse me” is more than just a social lubricant; it’s a sign of acknowledging others’ presence and personal space. It’s about understanding that your actions can impact others, and taking a moment to minimize any inconvenience you might cause.

So, next time you’re in a social setting, remember: “Excuse me” isn’t just a phrase, it’s a hallmark of being genuinely classy. And when used genuinely, it can be incredibly impactful.

Just remember – sincerity is key. It’s not just about the words you say, but how you say them. Class is about authenticity, not manipulation.

2) Thank you…

The power of gratitude is something that cannot be overstated. Saying “thank you” is another common phrase that exudes class, according to psychology.

I remember a specific instance that truly brought this home for me. I was attending a conference with a colleague who is known for her poise and elegance. At the end of the event, she took the time to thank not only the organizers but also the waitstaff, the janitors, and even the security personnel.

Her heartfelt gratitude wasn’t just appreciated by those she thanked, but it also left a profound impression on everyone who witnessed it. It wasn’t about grand gestures or public recognition, but about acknowledging and appreciating every individual’s contribution.

That day, I learned that “thank you” isn’t just about good manners—it’s a reflection of class. It’s about recognizing and appreciating others, no matter their role or status. Classy people understand this and make sure to express their gratitude freely and sincerely.

3) I’m happy for you…

A truly classy person radiates positivity and is genuinely happy for others’ achievements. The phrase “I’m happy for you” is a clear indicator of this.

This phrase is more than just a congratulatory remark; it’s an expression of genuine happiness for another’s success. Psychology reveals that expressing happiness for others can boost our own mood and foster positive relationships.

Interestingly, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that feeling genuine happiness for others can actually lead to increased overall wellbeing and lower levels of depression and stress.

When you say “I’m happy for you”, it not only reflects your class but also contributes to your own emotional health. Now that’s a true win-win!

4) I respect your point of view…

Respect is a vital element of class, and one phrase that encapsulates this is “I respect your point of view”.

Classy people understand that everyone is entitled to their own perspectives and opinions. They appreciate diversity in thought and are open to engaging in meaningful discussions without resorting to disrespectful disagreements.

Saying “I respect your point of view” goes beyond mere politeness. It communicates that you value the other person’s perspective, even if it differs from your own. It fosters an environment of mutual respect and open dialogue, qualities that are the hallmark of a genuinely classy individual.

Class isn’t about always being right; it’s about treating others with dignity and respect, regardless of differing viewpoints.

5) How can I assist you?

Offering assistance is a clear reflection of empathy and consideration, traits that are synonymous with class. The phrase “How can I assist you?” speaks volumes about the person uttering it.

Genuinely classy people understand that it’s not just about looking good or sounding intelligent; it’s about being helpful and supportive to those around them. They don’t wait for others to ask for help but instead, proactively offer their assistance.

When you say “How can I assist you?”, it sends a powerful message. It shows that you’re not just concerned about yourself, but you’re also willing to take action to support others.

It’s a phrase that commands respect and fosters trust, making it a key part of the vocabulary of truly classy individuals.

6) I appreciate you…

In a world where people are often too busy to pause, notice and acknowledge the worth of others, saying “I appreciate you” can have a profound impact.

Genuinely classy people understand the power of appreciation. They recognize the value each individual brings, and they don’t shy away from expressing it.

“I appreciate you” isn’t just a phrase; it’s an affirmation of someone’s worth. It conveys respect, gratitude, and recognition. It validates the person’s efforts and makes them feel seen and valued.

So, whether it’s a friend who’s always there for you, a colleague who has gone the extra mile, or a family member who never fails to support you – take a moment to let them know that you appreciate them. It’s a simple act that speaks volumes about your class and can make someone’s day a little brighter.

7) I was wrong…

Admitting a mistake isn’t always easy. Pride can often get in the way, making it difficult to utter the phrase, “I was wrong”. But this is exactly what separates genuinely classy people from the rest.

I remember a time when I was leading a project at work. My team had concerns about the direction I was taking, but in my confidence, I dismissed them. The project didn’t go as planned and it was clear – I had made a mistake.

Swallowing my pride, I admitted it to my team. “I was wrong,” I said. The room went quiet. But then, something unexpected happened. Instead of negativity or blame, I felt a sense of relief and respect from my team.

That day, I realised that class isn’t about never making mistakes; it’s about owning up to them when you do. “I was wrong” isn’t a sign of weakness; rather, it’s a display of strength, humility, and integrity – qualities that are emblematic of true class.

8) No, thank you…

It might seem surprising, but the ability to say “No, thank you” is a sign of genuine class.

While many associate class with agreeableness and compliance, truly classy individuals understand the importance of setting boundaries. They know that they cannot please everyone and that it’s okay to decline offers or opportunities that don’t align with their values or schedules.

Saying “No, thank you” isn’t about being dismissive or ungrateful; it’s about respecting one’s own time, energy, and personal space. It’s about being honest and transparent with others, attributes that are highly admired and respected.

Class isn’t about saying yes to everything; sometimes, it’s about graciously saying “No, thank you”.

9) I understand…

One phrase that truly embodies class is “I understand”.

Classy people are not just good talkers; they’re excellent listeners too. They take the time to genuinely understand others’ feelings, opinions, and experiences. When they say “I understand”, it’s not a mere acknowledgement, but a reflection of empathy and comprehension.

This phrase showcases patience and emotional intelligence. It communicates to others that their thoughts and feelings are valued and understood.

In a world where everyone wants to be heard, saying “I understand” is a powerful way of showing respect and empathy—key traits of genuinely classy individuals.

10) Let’s agree to disagree…

Arguably, one of the most powerful phrases that genuinely classy people use is “Let’s agree to disagree”.

This phrase is a testament to emotional maturity and respect. It acknowledges that it’s okay to have differing opinions and that every conversation doesn’t need to end in agreement or consensus.

In using this phrase, classy individuals exhibit their respect for diversity in thought, their ability to maintain peace in disagreement, and their commitment to preserving relationships despite differences.

After all, class is about respect and understanding, not about winning arguments. Therefore, “Let’s agree to disagree” sits at the heart of genuinely classy discourse.

Final thoughts: The power of words

Language is a potent tool, and the phrases we choose to use can say a lot about who we are.

In the case of genuinely classy people, their language reflects their character – respect for others, empathy, humility, and emotional intelligence. These phrases aren’t just about sounding sophisticated; they’re about embodying the principles of class in our interactions with others.

The renowned poet Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So, as we navigate through our daily conversations, let’s strive to use these phrases – not as a means to impress others but as a way to express our genuine respect and understanding. In doing so, we won’t just be using words; we’ll be making a positive impact on those around us.

And that’s what being genuinely classy is all about.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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