Emotionally intelligent people know just how powerful words are, that’s why they choose them carefully!
Words can lift someone’s spirits or shatter them completely.
If you’d like to be more sensitive to other people’s feelings, take a look at 16 phrases you should never, ever utter!
1) “You’re too sensitive.”
So, what exactly is wrong with being sensitive?
Some people are more sensitive, others are less so, it doesn’t mean that one is better than the other.
Emotionally intelligent people recognize and respect other people’s emotions, they understand that sensitivity is a normal and valid part of the human experience.
And the bottom line?
They’d never, ever tell someone that they’re “too sensitive” because they’d never want to belittle their emotions.
2) “Why are you always so emotional?”
Again, just like with the previous point, emotionally intelligent people both understand and respect other people’s emotions.
They’d never ask someone “why they’re so emotional” because that would mean that they don’t understand the complexity and depth of human emotions – in other words, it would mean they’re not emotionally intelligent.
The thing about emotionally intelligent people is that they want others to feel comfortable and safe in their presence and to be able to express their feelings knowing that they wouldn’t be judged or criticized.
3) “You shouldn’t feel that way.”
I mean, how presumptuous is it to tell someone how they should or shouldn’t feel?
By telling someone that, you’re basically saying that their feelings aren’t valid.
And by invalidating their feelings, you’re sure to make them feel unheard and misunderstood.
That’s why you’ll never, ever hear an emotionally intelligent person utter that phrase. They believe in validating other people’s feelings and showing empathy instead!
4) “Just get over it.”
Do you know what I want to say to someone who tells me to “Just get over it”?
“WHY DON’T YOU JUST GET OVER IT?”
I mean come on, don’t you think that if I could just get over feeling discomfort and pain I wouldn’t?
The truth is that emotions can’t be turned on and off like a switch – if they could, we wouldn’t need therapists!
So, instead of dismissing the reality of someone’s struggles, emotionally intelligent people are patient and understanding and there to offer support.
5) “It’s not a big deal, relax.”
It may not seem like a big deal to the person looking in, but we each have our own way of processing things and we experience and feel the world in different ways.
So what may be a big deal to you may not be a big deal to me and vice versa.
That’s why it’s important to acknowledge and respect the significance of other people’s experiences.
The opposite – minimizing someone’s concerns or problems – send a message that their feelings are insignificant.
6) “Stop being so dramatic.”
Unless the person in question is an actor on stage, I think it’s mean to tell them to stop being “dramatic”.
It totally undermines the validity of their emotional reactions and discourages them from expressing themselves.
So, unless you want people to be closed off and afraid of sharing their feelings, you won’t ever tell them to “stop being so dramatic”.
7) “You’re being irrational.”
Even if they are being irrational, telling them that without even trying to understand their perspective effectively dismisses their thoughts and emotions.
So instead of uttering this phrase, emotionally intelligent people try to engage in open dialogue to better understand what the other person is going through.
8) “I don’t care how you feel.”
You don’t have to be emotionally intelligent to understand that this phrase is intentionally hurtful and is sure to damage trust and create emotional distance.
It’s just not something emotionally intelligent people would ever say because they actually care about other people’s feelings!
9) “It’s not my problem.”
Okay, well, I’m sorry to hear that…
If anyone’s ever said that to you, you know just how hurtful it can be.
That’s why it’s not something emotionally intelligent people ever say. They believe in supporting others and helping them out in any way they can.
10) “You’re just being difficult.”
Here’s the thing, labeling someone as difficult dismisses their experiences and their emotional reaction, effectively shutting down any effective communication.
That’s why emotionally intelligent people approach challenging situations with patience, understanding, and a willingness to find common ground.
11) “I told you so.”
People say this to gloat and show how clever they are.
But what good is that once it’s too late? The other person knows what you told them and they already feel bad enough, so why would you gloat and tell them, “I told you so”?
Well, you wouldn’t, not if you’re emotionally intelligent that is.
I mean, this phrase is condescending and completely lacks empathy for someone who’s probably already feeling vulnerable and sh***y.
If you want to be more emotionally intelligent, focus on offering support and finding solutions instead of emphasizing past mistakes.
12) “You need to toughen up.”
There are so many things wrong with this phrase, it’s no wonder emotionally intelligent people never, ever say it!
First of all, you can’t just magically toughen up and not get affected by challenging experiences.
It also implies that being emotionally strong means suppressing or disregarding one’s emotions – and that’s certainly not healthy.
True strength lies in being able to acknowledge and manage one’s emotions effectively, not deny or suppress them.
13) “You should be grateful for what you have.”
Look, you can be grateful for what you have and still want more for yourself.
That’s why emotionally intelligent people never, ever utter, “You should be grateful for what you have” because it implies they don’t have a right to express dissatisfaction or desire for more out of life.
So while it’s good to encourage gratitude, it’s also important to validate a person’s aspirations and desires.
14) “Why can’t you just be happy?”
I don’t know. Why can’t I?
People certainly can’t just magically will themselves to be happy, trust me, I’ve tried!
Emotionally intelligent people avoid invalidating or dismissing someone’s struggles by expecting them to be happy all the time.
Instead, they offer support, empathy, and understanding, allowing individuals to express their emotions freely and providing assistance if needed.
What’s more, they recognize the importance of embracing a full spectrum of emotions (you can’t be happy all the time). They strive to promote overall well-being rather than pressuring someone to conform to a specific emotional state.
15) “Stop being so needy.”
This phrase basically translates as, “Stop annoying me. If you have a problem, keep it to yourself because I don’t want to deal with it.”
It totally dismisses and invalidates their legitimate emotional needs.
Emotionally intelligent people know that we all have unique needs and that seeking support, attention, and reassurance is a natural part of human connection.
Instead of dismissing or god-forbid shaming someone for expressing their needs, they work hard to create a safe space where people can openly communicate, express themselves, and get the support they need.
16) “Why can’t you be more like [someone else]?”
I feel like the answer to such an unfair and unhelpful question would be, “If you prefer their company to mine, please feel free to leave at any time.”
You should never, ever say this phrase unless you want to hurt someone.
We’re all unique and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Making such comparisons can seriously mess with someone’s self-esteem, which is why emotionally intelligent people never ever do that.
Instead, they focus on encouraging personal growth and self-acceptance. And rather than mold them into someone else, they try to help them recognize and develop their own strengths.
15 phrases emotionally intelligent people do say
Now that we’ve had a look at the unhelpful and even damaging things that emotionally intelligent people never, ever say, let’s look at some positive phrases that they do use.
These phrases show empathy, understanding, and a willingness to communicate and connect on a human level.
Here’s a list of phrases that emotionally intelligent people use:
- “I’m here for you.”
- “Tell me how you’re feeling.”
- “I understand how that could be challenging for you.”
- “I appreciate your perspective.”
- “What can I do?”
- “I’m sorry if my actions hurt you.”
- “Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions with me.”
- “I value your feelings and opinions.”
- “Is there anything specific you need from me right now?”
- “I’ll be here for you when you’re ready to talk.”
- “Let’s find a solution that works for both of us.”
- “I see your point and I’d like to find common ground.”
- “Your emotions are valid, and I’m here to listen.”
- “I’m grateful for your presence in my life.”
- “I’m proud of you for expressing yourself honestly.”