People who refuse to say these 11 things in a social situation are more socially intelligent than most

We all know some socially awkward people. They say the wrong things at the wrong time and often elicit weird looks among other members of the group.

But on the other side, there are people who are much more socially intelligent. They know exactly what to say at the right moment, and they’re excellent at making others feel good when they’re around.

Many times, it’s not what you say. It’s what you keep to yourself. That’s why people who are more socially intelligent than most refuse to say the following things:

1) “I told you so”

I’m not going to lie; telling someone, ” I told you so,” is often very satisfying. But that doesn’t mean I go about saying that to other people when I’m right about something.

I have enough compassion in me to know that saying to someone, ” I told you so,”  is a terrible thing and not something they want to hear when they make a mistake.

You see, socially intelligent people can put themselves in other people’s shoes. They think twice about saying something harmful or derogatory.

And in essence, that’s what separates them from most other people. They know that words can cut you deep, so they don’t blabber their mouth.

Ultimately, saying “I told you so” comes off as arrogant or unsupportive. It’s better to focus on finding solutions together, right?

2) “You always/never do this”

This expression can be very hurtful, but at the same time, it’s also extremely popular. I mean, I heard it many times. 

Sometimes, it was meant for me and sometimes for someone else. But, using such absolute terms can escalate conflicts further.

It’s more effective to address specific behaviors and situations. Sure, some people are more prone to making mistakes or bad decisions, but if you tell them that they always/never do something, you’re not helping them or yourself.

A socially intelligent person wouldn’t do that. They understand that people can change, and they want to help them make the right decisions, not scold them for making the wrong ones.

3) “That’s not my job”

I have to admit, until a couple of years ago, my mindset was exactly this – “That’s not my job.”

And not only at my job but also in my personal life. I just couldn’t be bothered to do anything I viewed as “out of my area,” so to speak. 

That also meant I wasn’t going out of my way to help others, which I now regret. I like to think that I’ve made a 180 and that I’m much more responsive to requests for help, but I also notice when I can and should help someone. 

So, instead of dismissing tasks outright, it’s better to help your fellow humans, even if it “isn’t your job.”

4) “It’s not fair”

Life’s rarely fair, and complaining about fairness can make you seem childish. Instead, address concerns and propose solutions.

Instead of simply stating, “It’s not fair,” socially intelligent people have a more nuanced approach. 

They express their concerns more specifically, giving examples or suggesting solutions. This approach helps keep conversations positive and focused on finding solutions rather than just pointing out problems. 

It’s a more constructive way of talking to people, especially those who are looking to find solutions to their problems. 

5) “I could be wrong, but…”

Socially intelligent people don’t undermine their credibility. “I could be wrong, but…” does undermine your credibility. 

If you have an opinion, stand by it confidently or be open to discussion without downplaying yourself.

If you want to appear more confident and assured, don’t use this phrase. It will only make others question your certainty and diminish your credibility. 

Instead of starting with self-doubt, say something like, “I think,” “In my opinion,” or “From my perspective.”

This will strike a balance between expressing your viewpoint and being receptive to discussion. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about projecting confidence while remaining open to diverse perspectives.

6) “This might be a stupid question, but…”

Another thing that can make you appear insecure is apologizing before asking a question. Just ask confidently; everyone has questions.

And as I make my way through this list, I start being aware of just how socially awkward I was for many, many years.

I always apologized before asking questions and inconveniencing someone. Even those who were there to serve me or something similar was not what I did. 

What I learned way too late in my life was that people generally respond better when the asker seems sure and engaged, leading to more productive conversations.

7) “You’re too sensitive”

Socially intelligent people know that avoiding phrases like “You’re too sensitive” is crucial. 

This statement is dismissive and can hurt feelings, which isn’t a considerate approach in social interactions.

That’s because they are kind and understanding and create a space where everyone feels heard and valued.

So, know that avoiding phrases that dismiss emotions is a smart move. 

8) “I don’t have time”

While everyone’s busy, outright saying you don’t have time is also very dismissive. Suggest an alternative or express when you’ll be available.

We’re coming back to how ready you are to help others, right?

If you want to help, you’ll make time in your schedule. If not, there are ways to tell them without dismissing them. 

For example, “I’m in the middle of something, but I’m open to catching up on this later. Can we set a time?” Or, “I’m currently tied up, but can we discuss this later?”

9) “I’ll try”

Saying “I’ll try” sounds wishy-washy. Smart communicators prefer being clear and committed. It’s about being sure of what you can do.

Plus, using more certain words like “I will” is positive. It shows confidence and determination. Socially intelligent folks know that using strong language leaves a positive impression.

So, skipping “I’ll try” for more confident and certain language might seem small. Still, it’s a clever way of using words to build positive connections and show social intelligence.

10) “That’s not how we do things here”

Smart people understand that there can be many right ways to do things. So, instead of insisting on one way, show that you’re open to different ideas.

And instead of shutting down ideas, offer constructive feedback or explain the reasoning behind certain practices.

Situations can change. By not sticking too rigidly to one way, show you can adapt and go with the flow.

And then we have this phrase:

11) “You’re wrong”

Flat-out stating someone is wrong can quickly lead to defensiveness. No one wants to be wrong, let alone be called out for being wrong. 

Instead of shutting down someone’s perspective, avoiding a direct “You’re wrong” opens the door to constructive dialogue.

Plus, by choosing a more diplomatic language, they reduce the likelihood of a defensive response.

So, next time you want to tell someone just how wrong they are, do something different. Share your perspective, and encourage a healthy discussion.

Or why not ask questions to understand the other person’s viewpoint better? That way, they may come to a conclusion that they were, in fact, wrong about something. 

Final thoughts

The main thing about socially intelligent people is that most of the time, they don’t have to think about their actions and how they affect others.

They inherently know that the things I mentioned in this list can be hurtful to people or at least misunderstood. 

Even if you don’t want to hurt or dismiss someone’s feelings, the things you say to them might very well do that. 

So, if you don’t have enough experience or your tongue is faster than your brain, try speaking less instead of more. You don’t have to be the one who’s constantly talking, do you? 

Plus, if you open your mouth, people will know for sure how socially awkward you are, but if you stay quiet, they’ll just guess. 

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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