Have you ever talked with someone and they make you feel uncomfortable—like they’re putting on a show?
That’s probably because they’re not genuine.
Find out for sure on your next convo by figuring out how many of these phrases they use.
Here are phrases genuine people never use in a conversation:
1) “I will never…” and “I will always…”
Genuine people know better than to speak in absolutes.
Sure, you might say that you’ll never cheat on your partner, or that you’ll always support your friends no matter what. And you might believe these when you say them.
But the only things that are sure in life are death and taxes. Your relationship with your partner might get so bad you end up cheating on them, or your friend might do something so bad you just can’t support them anymore.
This is why genuine people will avoid, whenever possible, saying things like “never” and “always”, especially if it’s something related to morals and ethics.
The only times when they will do so is when there’s a valid reason for it… like saying they’ll never eat shrimp because they’re allergic.
2) “Oh it was nothing, really.”
In a way, there’s almost an expectation for us to play coy and downplay our achievements whenever we get praised.
And so we use statements like “oh it was nothing” and “no, I was just lucky” to make it seem like it’s not that big of a deal and get people thinking we’re humble.
Except there is no humility in that—only hubris!
Genuine people see it for what it is, and are more frustrated that people are even bothering to be coy and pretend that they aren’t proud or happy… when deep down, they are (and there’s no problem with that!).
Genuine people are, well, genuine, and would rather just accept compliments as they are.
Tell them they did a good job at their presentation, and they’d say something like “Thank you, I worked hard on it all week” instead of “It was nothing special, honest. I didn’t put too much effort on it, actually”, when everyone knows they did.
3) “I’m just saying.”
This is one of those phrases that get alarms blaring in a genuine person’s head.
It’s an asshole’s phrase, and it reeks of insincerity.
You can be sure that whenever someone says “I’m just saying”, that whatever they have to say, they’re not just saying. They know they’re about to offend, hurt, or humiliate somebody and are trying to wash themselves clean of any blame whatsoever.
What’s usually the case, even, is that it’s those people who use “I’m just saying” the most who are responsible for the most harmful and backwards tropes on the planet.
Genuine people understand this, and for that reason, they’ll avoid saying phrases like “I’m just saying” and “with all due respect” or “Not to be a prick but…”
If they must ever say something that will anger people, they will say it straight and face all that anger head-on.
4) “You’re way too sensitive!”
Genuine people might feel frustrated whenever the people they talk to get especially emotional or heated, but one thing they’ll never do is complain that they’re being way too sensitive.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that they’re being sensitive, and bringing up that they’re being “sensitive” does no good other than infantilize and antagonize them further.
If you think about it, all of us are sensitive about something, and what’s usually the case is that people who pride themselves on how “thick-skinned” they are, are often the more thin-skinned people in the room.
This is the reason why it’s important to try to understand why people are being sensitive.
Genuine people understand that sometimes things mean different things to different people, and what might be harmless to someone might even be traumatizing to another.
5) “Have you heard about what our neighbor had to say about…”
Gossip might as well be the plague to genuine people.
Make any mention about what you heard their friend had said about another of your friends, and they’d run away as soon as they can.
They see gossip as a disservice that will only ruin the lives and reputations of the people they’re gossiping about
And not only that, gossip is sure to be colored by the biases and misunderstandings that people have made everyone has subject it to every time the talk bounces around.
Not only do genuine people dislike gossip on strictly moral grounds, they also understand how inaccurate and harmful gossip is. For that reason, they avoid it when possible.
6) “WHAT?! Did you think I would ever do that?”
The thing with liars and inauthentic people is that they go the extra mile so that people will believe that they’re trustworthy.
That’s where statements like “Oh, did you ever think I would CHEAT on you?” or “How could you believe I’ll ever snitch on you?” come in.
Statements like these don’t do anything to help people “win” any arguments at all. They exist to make the accuser look and feel dumb for even questioning their integrity.
Genuine people would rather not use such dirty tactics and will even get suspicious the moment they hear people pull these tricks.
7) “I’m just trying to have a healthy debate”
One of the things that inauthentic people do whenever they’re talking with someone they disagree with is that they would immediately try to start a debate.
Except it’s not actually a debate or discussion that they’re after.
They will try to raise “valid concerns” in order to start the discussion. And once they get people talking they’ll string people round and round with circular arguments and logical fallacies until they tire out.
This trick is called sealioning, and the point is to trap people into an argument and either tire them out or frustrate them into getting so angry that they lash out.
Most authentic people know of this, and even those that aren’t will hate it on sight. You’ll never see an authentic person go “chill, I’m just trying to have a debate”
If they do want to have a debate, they will simply cut straight to the chase, share their concerns, and then listen to whatever people have to say.
8) “If you want to blame someone, blame…”
Pushing the blame is something that inauthentic people like doing.
In fact, many of them are simply incapable of ever admitting fault, at least not without a but or some kind of excuse.
Did they fail to buy the right groceries for dinner? It was because someone distracted them and made them forget their shopping list. Did they fail to do their job correctly? It was because a coworker messed up something they needed.
Genuine people never do this and mean it. Perhaps they might, as a joke, but only when it’s absolutely clear that they’re just joking.
If they messed up, then they messed up and they’ll own their mistakes.
And it’s also this willingness to acknowledge and accept their weaknesses that make genuine people who they are.
9) “Shut up, I’m in charge here.”
People who are insecure and have something to prove or are trying to hide something will use whatever means are necessary to assert control.
And that includes using authority to shut people down, especially those offering criticisms or dissenting opinions.
Authentic people, on the other hand, know better than to abuse their authority. They will instead encourage discussions and will only ever invoke any authority they have when the situation absolutely calls for it.
As far as they’re concerned, if they’re honest and confident, they don’t need to force people to listen to them—people will just listen on their own.
10) ”I know I messed up, but…”
Genuine people are careful around the word “but.”
Just this one word can turn a genuine question or compliment into something backhanded and dishonest.
As far as they’re concerned, the moment they say “but”, whatever they were just saying might not as well exist.
And that’s precisely how genuine people do it. If they ever feel tempted to preface something with “but”, they’ll take a step back and cut all of that out.
If they can’t say whatever they have to say without using “but”, then they’ll ask themselves why.
In contrast to all this, inauthentic people will happily hide behind buts all day.
While this list will have described many of the general sayings that can help you tell that someone’s a genuine person, it’s important to note that context and tone matter a lot.
In fact, it will actually help if you paid attention less on the specific words and more on the general way people speak and the kinds of arguments they might prefer.
It’s sadly not the easiest of things to master, however, and that’s why until you can manage to figure it out on your own, then the things I’ve brought up in this article will at least give you a starting place.
Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.