We know that no one can really make us feel angry, intimidated or crazy. We do that to ourselves by thinking people should be the way we want them to be. However, in the spirit of the title of this post, here are ten things people say that can be a challenge to not feel a little crazy when you hear them.
(If you have someone that repeatedly uses one or more of these phrases, you might find my suggested responses helpful)
“You can trust me on this.” (Or, “To be honest with you…”)
Response: Why the need to tell me I can trust you on this?
“You’re too sensitive; don’t take everything personally.”
Response: My level of sensitivity isn’t the issue. The issue is you need to learn to be respectful or we won’t be continuing this conversation.
“You could be worse off.” (Or “Don’t worry, you’ll be just fine.”)
Response: I’m sure you’re right. However, I’m not looking for you to make everything right. I’m wanting someone who cares to listen to me and that will be enough.
“I hate to interrupt you, but…”
Response: Then don’t. (Then go right on with what you were saying without missing a beat.)
Do you have a minute to talk?
Response: I would love to talk if I can. How much time do we really need—if I know that, I can tell you if I have the time to talk.
“Any reasonable person would see that…”
Response: Actually, no, I’m a reasonable person and I don’t see it that way.”
“Research tells us that…”
Response: What specific research are you referring to? And has there been additional research that came to a different conclusion?
“Why in the world would you think that?” (Said sarcastically)
Response: That’s the kind of question that doesn’t deserve an answer. Let me know when you’re ready to have a respectful conversation.
“Others might disagree with this but…”
Response: I want to know what you think, so you don’t have to be so careful in letting me know what you think.”
“She’s a bitch.”
Response: Really? Would you say the same thing if a man did or said the same thing—and you might want to give that some thought before you answer.