Sometimes, when you talk to someone, you suddenly realize they’re not contributing much to the conversation.
They answer everything with simple sentences, often just confirming or even repeating what you’ve just said.
But there are (too) many phrases that people use in conversations that show they’re lacking depth and sincerity. They’re also extremely annoying.
Nevertheless, let’s see what they are!
1) “It’s not a big deal”
The first one is a pet peeve of mine. I hate when someone simply says, “It’s not a big deal,” as a response to a serious concern I’m raising.
I mean, I somewhat understand where they’re coming from because I don’t like worrying about the things I can’t or don’t have an impact on.
But this particular phrase often suggests that the person is downplaying the importance of something.
In other cases, it can result in a lack of engagement in the discussion, making it seem like they’re not genuinely invested in the topic.
And then we have the following:
2) “I don’t care”
When someone says that they don’t care, it generally means they have no emotional investment or interest in the subject.
That’s fair enough, as not every topic is interesting to everyone. For example, if you told me about the intricacies of paperclip design, I’d probably tell you that I don’t care about that.
But I’d also watch my tone so I don’t come across as dismissive and uninterested in what you’re saying.
3) “I don’t want to talk about it”
I don’t think there are any topics we shouldn’t discuss. However, I understand that someone isn’t in the mood to talk about a specific subject at that time (or ever).
And I respect that because it’s important to respect personal boundaries. Still, when someone frequently uses this phrase, it can result in missed chances to have a meaningful conversation.
It might also make others feel like the person saying, “I don’t want to talk about it,” isn’t open to discussing important or challenging topics.
But as I said, you have to look at the context of the conversation to conclude they lack depth and sincerity.
4) “I don’t have time”
On the other hand, continuously claiming to be too busy creates the impression that you’re not genuinely interested in engaging with others.
Yes, we’re all very busy, but it’s essential to make an effort to prioritize relationships and discussions that matter.
By regularly saying this to someone, you also disrespect them because they’re obviously not worthy of your “precious” time.
5) “I’m not sure”
Repeatedly saying you’re not sure suggests you lack curiosity or willingness to learn something.
You also communicate a lack of confidence or self-assuredness. It’s as if you’re hesitant to take a stance on any topic, which gives the impression of indecisiveness.
It’s also a way to avoid taking responsibility for a decision or an opinion and a safe way to refrain from expressing your true thoughts on something perhaps controversial.
6) “That’s not my problem”
We always profess how important it is to set boundaries and not take on undue responsibility.
On the other hand, if someone frequently deflects issues and says they’re not their problem, it could mean they lack empathy or don’t want to help others when they genuinely need it.
The same goes for the following:
People often use this phrase when they don’t want to engage in a discussion. If someone responds to you with “Whatever,” that’s an obvious sign they don’t care for what you’re saying.
8) “I’m fine”
How often have you answered the question, “How are you?” with, “I’m fine?”
I’m guessing many times.
And I don’t blame you because I hate when someone asks me this as a way of greeting me.
In some countries like Ireland, asking people, “Are you okay?” is like saying good afternoon.
In other words, you aren’t really expecting an honest answer.
So, while this answer can reveal how someone is truly feeling (fine), it’s more often used in an insincere and dismissive way.
Ultimately, it prevents meaningful conversations about how someone is genuinely feeling, especially if you’re concerned about them.
9) “That’s cool”
Another simple and popular phrase that lacks depth and sincerity. While some people use it to express their approval or interest, overusing this phrase makes it seem like you’re not genuinely interested in the conversation.
You’re also not giving any substantive feedback. You’re basically just saying how cool it is, and that’s it.
For example, you tell your friend excitedly you’re visiting Europe next month, and all they respond with is, “That’s cool,” followed by an awkward pause and no additional questions.
How stupid would you feel?
10) “It is what it is”
Arguably the most useless phrase on this list, “It is what it is” makes my blood boil in an instant.
When someone says this to you, it means they accept the situation without further exploration or discussion.
How can you talk to someone afterward, or God forbid, find a solution to something if they’re simply using this meaningless phrase?
11) “I guess so”
Another annoying answer that suggests uncertainty or a lack of commitment. Using this phrase frequently makes people seem like they aren’t fully engaged in decision-making or conversation.
When someone tells me this, I, for a fact, know they don’t know the difference between their ass and a hole in the ground.
12) “I’m just saying”
This phrase is often used to soften or justify a statement, but when used excessively, it can mean they’re avoiding taking a clear stance on a topic.
People say this when they don’t want to commit to a viewpoint 100%. They leave an out for themselves if they get pushback because “that’s just their opinion.”
13) “I’ll try”
While it’s good to express a willingness to attempt something, when someone uses this phrase, it typically means they don’t have the confidence or commitment to follow through.
They’ll give it a half-hearted shot and give up, right?
At least, that’s what usually happens when someone answers me in this way or when I do it.
14) “I suppose”
Another limp response that doesn’t add anything to the discussion or dialogue. Not only does it indicate a lack of depth and sincerity, but also a severe lack of enthusiasm.
Obviously, the person isn’t fully invested in the conversation or decision.
15) “It’s just the way things are”
Similar to “It is what it is,” using the “It’s just the way things are” phrase means the person you’re talking to is resigned and doesn’t want to question the status quo.
I can’t say I’d blame them with the way things are progressing in the world. But for the sake of a conversation, they could make at least a little bit more effort.
Conversation is a two-way street. You add something, and they add a bit more, and so on.
However, when one side isn’t interested in talking and is clearly not sincere or deep enough with their answers, it’s hard to hold an interesting discussion or even a chat.