If someone uses these 7 phrases in a conversation, their social skills need improvement

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We can’t all be blessed with amazing charm and rapier wit.

Occasionally, we all put our foot in it (I know I do!)

But some people take the biscuit.

You know who I’m talking about. They just can’t help themselves. Whether it’s an obnoxious friend or a nosey neighbor, they have a talent for awkward conversation and offending others.

Here’s the thing.

They might not even realize it.

Chances are, they just lack interpersonal development.

Next time you bump into them, see if you catch them spouting any of these seven common phrases. It’s a surefire way to know that their social skills need improvement.

1) “Calm down”

Picture the scene.

Your cat threw up in your shoes, you’re running late, and you get a puncture while driving to work.

Visibly stressed out, someone tells you to: “Calm down.”

In the history of the universe, telling someone to calm down has never, ever, made anyone stop, and think:

“Oh, you’re right, I should calm down. I never thought of that.”

Consider this.

The phrase is dismissive. It doesn’t acknowledge or validate how someone is feeling. Instead, it suggests suppressing or even ignoring those strong emotions.

Not helpful!

It’s much better to simply listen (no matter how irrational, right, or wrong they are).

2) “Why is everyone against me?”

This phrase is an example of playing the victim.

It gets a bit tiresome after a while.

If someone regularly displays attention-seeking behavior like this (constantly dramatizing their situation) it could be more than just social skills they lack.

The victim card is used as a coping strategy or to wash their hands of responsibility.

In a nutshell, they want people to feel sorry for them, so they can get what they want.

They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it.

3) “Have a drink!”

This one is up there with: “Come on, dance!” 

I’ve lost count, of the number of times I’ve been dragged to the dance floor by friends (or worse still, drunk relatives at a wedding).

It’s particularly annoying because we don’t always want to drink alcohol (or dance to terrible music).

It’s a personal choice, okay?

That needs to be respected.

But some people don’t get it. They’re too wrapped up in their own world to consider your decision.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s harmless most of the time (and pretty funny to tell them to get lost).

Plus, I forgive them if they’ve been drinking.

But if you get to the point where you can predict it coming (like clockwork), they probably lack empathy (and social skills).

4) “Are you going out like that?”

This is just plain rude.

Especially if someone has spent ages carefully planning their outfit.

What’s important here is how their style makes them feel. If THEY are comfortable with it, then let them express themselves.

Fashion is an individual thing.

Just like food preference, taste in music, or even the type of partner you go for.

Sure, it might not be your cup of tea, but who cares?

This statement undermines someone’s personal choice and belief.

It can cause conflict, shatter confidence, and create resentment.

In other words, it demonstrates that they don’t have a clue when it comes to effective communication.

There might be times when you think you know best.

For example, if your daughter is scantily clad for a night out.

I get it.

You’re concerned for her safety.

But a far better way to broach the subject is to say something like: “I know you like that dress, but I’m concerned about the unwanted attention it might create. What do you think?”

Try to turn it into a respectful conversation rather than an insult.

5) “I’m not listening to you.”

Watch out for this one.

Giving someone the silent treatment is a definite red flag when it comes to social skills.

Here’s the bottom line.

Effective communication is paramount for forming bonds, sharing opinions, and resolving issues.

By ignoring someone, you’re putting up a wall.

It’s narcissistic and completely unproductive. It stops any chance of progress (and can be incredibly frustrating to boot).

When someone stops listening, it shows they just don’t get it.

They’re unable to put their pride aside and move on.

6) “It wasn’t like that.”

When someone tries to change your perception of reality, your memories, or your beliefs, it’s called gaslighting.

Or simply put, blatant lying.

It not only shows a lack of social skills but also something much worse. They could be trying to manipulate you (to protect their ego).

We’ve all been there.

It usually starts with someone digging themselves a hole. Then the desperate process of trying to get out.

Here’s an example.

Imagine you’re late for a deadline. It’s crunch time and your team has nothing to deliver.

During the presentation, your colleague throws you under the bus (even other friends comment on it).

They’re trying to protect their own reputation by using you as a scapegoat.

Later, you take them to one side and challenge them on it.

“Oh, it wasn’t like that.”

You’ll hear every excuse under the sun. They can be extremely determined and convincing. By the end of the conversation, you’ll be doubting yourself.

This is manipulative behavior and certainly shows a lack of empathy on their part. Don’t fall for it!

7) “You wouldn’t understand.”

To wrap up, if someone constantly uses this phrase, it’s a slamdunk sign that they lack interpersonal skills.

Not only is it patronising but it’s also dismissive and creates a communication barrier.

Think about it.

There’s something these socially inept people don’t understand.

We don’t have all the answers. We each have our strengths and weaknesses. And listening to other points of view (no matter how crazy they seem) is a great way to expand your mind and learn.

Plus it shows respect.

Which can help you gain respect in return.

On that note, next time you’re faced with someone lacking in social skills, remember, that they’re probably not intentionally setting out to annoy or hurt anyone.

Keep it respectful, maintain control, and try to see their side of the story. Chances are, they need a little help and support too.

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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