8 words or phrases classy people never use in public

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In the world of social graces, knowing what not to say can be just as important as knowing what to say. 

Whether you’re at a fancy gala or a casual get-together, the words you choose can either boost or bust your image of classiness. 

In this article we explore the eight common phrases that might be cramping your style in public. 

Let’s jump in. 

1) Any form of profanity

The language we use often serves as a mirror, reflecting our upbringing, education, and character.

It’s no secret that profanity can be a quick and effective way to express extreme emotions.

But let me tell you something – it’s also a surefire way to tarnish your image in the eyes of those who value class and decorum.

If you want to be viewed as classy, you’ll need to find alternative ways to express yourself without resorting to vulgar language.

Classiness isn’t just about what you wear or how you carry yourself – it’s also about how you communicate.

With a little effort, you can express the same sentiment in a much more refined way.

2) Sarcasm that hurts

I’ve been there, trust me. Sometimes, in the midst of a heated conversation or a frustrating situation, it’s tempting to let sarcasm be your weapon of choice.

It feels like a harmless jab, a clever way to make your point without resorting to rudeness.

But here’s the catch – sarcasm can often sting sharper than you intend.

It can come across as condescending, hurtful and downright unkind. And let’s be honest, is that really the impression you want to leave?

As someone aiming for classiness, it’s important to remember that respect for others is paramount.

You can disagree, you can assert yourself, but always with consideration for the other person’s feelings.

You’ll find that kindness and tact are the true hallmarks of class.

3) Bragging about achievements

I remember the time I landed a prestigious job offer.

It was a tremendous accomplishment for me, something I had worked hard for, and naturally, I was proud.

But here’s where I learned an important lesson.

In my excitement, I started sharing my achievement a bit too liberally in public gatherings, not realizing that my enthusiasm was coming off as bragging.

It didn’t take me long to notice the subtle changes in how people reacted to me.

Their smiles seemed a bit forced, their congratulations a tad hollow. That’s when it hit me – classy people don’t brag about their achievements in public.

Yes, it’s great to be proud of your accomplishments. But there’s a fine line between sharing your joy and appearing boastful.

It’s all about balance and sensitivity to those around you. 

4) Gossiping about others

Here’s a thought – Did you know that people who gossip are seen as less powerful and less liked by their peers?

I’m not just talking about the juicy, scandalous type of gossip.

Even casual chit-chat about someone not present in the conversation can be seen as unclassy.

Think of it this way. When you gossip, you’re essentially broadcasting someone else’s business without their consent.

It’s invasive, disrespectful, and definitely not the behavior of a classy person.

So next time you’re tempted to share that piece of juicy news about a colleague or an acquaintance, stop for a moment.

Ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Chances are it’s not.

Choosing respect over gossip is always the classier option.

5) Negative self-talk

I’ve been caught in this trap before.

You know, the one where you’re so self-deprecating in an attempt to be humble that it takes a turn for the worse.

It becomes a habit, a part of your vocabulary, and before you know it, you’re putting yourself down in public without even realizing it.

The truth is, constantly belittling yourself doesn’t make you seem humble or approachable.

Instead, it can make people uncomfortable and give them a poor impression of you.

Here’s the deal – being classy isn’t about downplaying your worth.

It’s about respecting yourself and others equally.

By all means, be modest, but don’t forget to acknowledge your strengths and worth. Your words have power – make sure they’re sending the right message about you.

6) Pointing out others’ mistakes

Have you ever been in a situation where someone publicly pointed out your mistake? It’s humiliating, isn’t it?

I’ve been on the receiving end of this a few times and trust me, it’s not pleasant.

It’s easy to critique others, especially when their errors seem glaringly obvious to you.

But here’s the thing – pointing out someone’s mistake in public isn’t classy. It’s embarrassing for them and reflects poorly on you.

If you need to address an issue, do so privately and respectfully.

Everyone makes mistakes and deserves the opportunity to correct them without feeling humiliated.

Remember, class is about respect for others – that includes respecting their dignity in public spaces.

7) Using slurs or offensive language

There’s no room for slurs or offensive language in the vocabulary of a classy person.

Not only are they disrespectful, but they also show a lack of empathy and understanding.

It doesn’t matter if you think it’s harmless or if you’re just repeating what you heard someone else say.

Offensive language hurts, and it can create a hostile environment for those around you.

Just put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s been on the receiving end of such language. It’s not a comfortable place to be, is it?

Language is a reflection of who you are. Let it speak volumes about your class and respect for others.

8) Disrespectful terms for people

Here’s something I firmly believe in – every person deserves respect, no matter who they are or where they come from.

That’s why it baffles me when I hear people use disrespectful terms to refer to others.

Terms that belittle, insult, or stereotype people have no place in the vocabulary of a classy individual.

It’s not just about being politically correct. It’s about showing basic human decency and respect.

Imagine how much nicer our conversations would be if we all just treated each other with kindness and respect.

If we chose our words carefully and thoughtfully. If we made an effort to lift people up with our words, rather than bring them down.

So there you have it – the final, and perhaps the most important, point: Always use respectful language when referring to others.

It’s a small change that can make a big difference in how you’re perceived and how your words impact those around you.

The final takeaway

With reflection and conscious choice, we can evolve our speech to better align with the kind of person we aspire to be.

Consider this a gentle invitation to review your language habits.

Are there phrases you use that might be impacting how others perceive you? Are there ways you could express yourself more respectfully or kindly?

This isn’t about policing your speech or stifling your authenticity.

Rather it’s about enhancing your communication to reflect the best version of you.

A version that respects others, values positivity, and embodies class.

Because at the end of the day, being classy isn’t just about how we present ourselves to the world – it’s about who we are at our core.

As the great poet Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said… but they will never forget how you made them feel“. 

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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