Language is the primary tool through which we express who we really are, and oftentimes, it is in the little things where someone’s nature truly comes out.
An authentic person who means well would never resort to judgment, hostility, or contempt.
Therefore, the best way to recognize whether the person you’re talking to is truly genuine is to watch out for the small phrases they say.
It’s time to recognize these 9 phrases for what they really are – from ingenuine to outright hostile.
1) “No offense, but…”
When someone says “no offense”, it usually means they’re about to offend you. And while they think they’re lessening the blow by adding that they are not, in fact, offending you, the opposite is the case.
The offense is still there. But now there’s also an extra pinch of ingenuity on top of that.
A person who’s truly genuine won’t feel the need to resort to such inauthentic behavior. If they want to offer some negative feedback, they’ll do so in a polite and respectful way.
There’ll be no need to say “no offense” because there won’t be any offense to speak of.
2) “As long as you’re happy”
Enter…the famous phrase of dismissal!
“Look, this is my new coat. I absolutely love it.”
“Uhm. As long as you’re happy.”
The judgment is so obvious I don’t think it could be any clearer.
“As long as you’re happy” means, “I completely disagree but I don’t want to say it outright so I’ll give you a contemptuous hint.”
Genuinity is about gentle honesty.
Someone genuine wouldn’t dismiss whatever it is that brings you excitement, even if they disagree. They’d give you their honest opinion instead: “I like the color, I think it goes really well with your complexion. I’m unsure about the size, though, have you tried a smaller one?”
3) “You’re too [trait]”
Taylor Swift once said in an interview, “The worst kind of person is someone who makes someone feel bad, dumb, or stupid for being excited about something.”
I couldn’t agree more.
It is genuine to understand the beauty of excitement and happiness and to share that with others instead of putting them down for it.
No one is too much – they may just not be your kind of person, and that’s okay.
You’re not too happy, too naïve, too chatty, or too energetic. You’re just you. What one person considers “too much” may be another person’s “too little”.
4) “Aren’t you lucky”
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the universal sign of envy – assigning a person’s achievements and successes to nothing but luck.
Imagine you’re a bestselling author and someone says, “Aren’t you lucky?”
You’d probably think, “Well, no, Hannah. I worked hard to be where I am. Entire books don’t just fall in your lap, ready for sale.”
The truth is, “Aren’t you lucky” is more about the person saying it than it is about you.
Since they are envious of your achievement and can’t imagine reaching the same level of success for themselves, they blame everything on luck so that they can simply wave their hand and say, “I’m unlucky. Oh well.”
They’re essentially lying to themselves to avoid all the hard work.
5) “Learn to take a joke”
There are few things in life that get on my nerves as much as “Learn to take a joke” does.
And that’s because the jokes that precede this phrase are never actually funny – they’re just insults bubble-wrapped in humor.
If you get upset because of a joke someone’s made, their genuine response should usually be to apologize and try to understand why you feel that way.
But if they just laugh and say you simply can’t take a joke, it means they’d rather laugh at your expense than connect with you on an authentic level.
And who has time for that?
Not me, that’s for sure.
6) “Get over it”
“Get over it.”
“Well, if it was as easy as that, I’d probably be over it already, wouldn’t I?”
This phrase is ingenuine because it doesn’t come from a place of understanding – it’s more of a dismissal of your problems.
“Get over it” is a shortcut. It means the other person doesn’t want to engage in a conversation about what’s troubling you. It means they aren’t interested in being your confidant or providing emotional support.
All they want is for you to stop talking about the problem and change the topic. And they assume that by suggesting you just “get over it”, the issue will fix itself and they won’t have to emotionally exert themselves to help you.
Unfortunately, the phrase causes the exact opposite – most people get really upset and dig deeper into the issue at hand.
7) “I’m just different”
We’re all unique yet similar. And even if you’re different from the majority of people – for example, if you’re an introvert, if you have a rare Myers-Briggs personality, or if you like to dress extravagantly – it doesn’t mean you’re incomparably different from everyone on the planet.
A genuine person knows that they’re not the only complex human in a 5-mile radius. They understand that everyone’s complicated in different ways and that a few strange quirks don’t make them a special snowflake.
Because genuine people are highly self-aware. That’s what allows them to be so genuine in the first place.
8) “I think you’re [an avalanche of generic compliments]”
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with telling people they’re kind and smart.
But if you want to tell whether someone’s truly genuine, pay attention to what they say about you in the long term.
Has it been three months since you met, and all they can say is still “You’re so nice and angelic and beautiful”?
They may be complimenting you to get in your good books, not because their feelings are truly there. Someone who genuinely cares about you will notice the little things you do.
They’ll go deeper than “nice”.
9) “This is me. Deal with it”
The most ingenuine thing you can do is consider yourself a finished product.
Our growth is never over. Every day, we become someone new. And every day, we have the opportunity to change our behavior for the better.
If you tell someone that their behavior last night upset you and they just say, “This is me. Deal with it!” or “This is who I am. Take it or leave it”, it might be a good idea to reconsider the relationship.
This is because ingenuity begins in one’s self. Language is just a manifestation of who we are on the inside.
And if someone refuses to see themselves as ever-evolving humans who ought to work on their weaknesses…their ingenuity levels are through the roof.
So, what would a truly genuine person say?
“I’m very sorry my behavior hurt you. Can you tell me more about it so that I can better understand and improve?”
As simple as that.
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