Gary Pratt/Flickr

There are few things more annoying than when you are seeking advice and someone responds with a boring platitude that helps no one. Believe it or not, if you choose to provide advice, it needs to be specific to the situation and shouldn't be dressed up in trite phrasing. Does saying, "Keep your head up" actually contribute anything if that's all you have to say when someone comes to you in search of a listening ear?

But this goes deeper than just advice, to be fair. Some of us are sick of greedy corporations that stress the importance of being a "family" while refusing to pay proper wages. Still more of us are tired of people using certain language when other language can suffice.

After Redditor BensReddits asked the online community, "What is a phrase you absolutely hate hearing?" people shared their stories.


"At any sort of conference..."

At any sort of conference/gathering/presentation:

"How're you all doing today?!? C'mon, I know you can answer louder than that! HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING TODAY?!"

Instant resentment every time.

avokato_

I second that resentment.

I attended a conference once where the main speaker did this several times in the span of thirty minutes as he announced different initiatives.

Such a headache.

"At my work..."

At my work upper management has started using the word "activate" a lot. As in, "We are working on plans to activate underutilized spaces." And, "Let's activate a few other teams on this." It just sounds silly to me and like they are trying too hard to avoid using simple, perfectly adequate language.

LaeliaCatt

I'll take your "activate" and give you...

..."utilize." WHY?

What is wrong with the word "use"?

"I was born in Australia..."

"Your English is so good!"

Thank you, I was born in Australia and English is literally my first language. My standard response these days is, "Oh thank you, yours too!"

dimsimprincess

This one is especially annoying...

...if you're not alabaster white.

This is a big one:

"Where are you from? No I mean where are you from."

DrSmeggles

I repeat:

Also annoying if you're not alabaster white.

"Someone saying to a teenager..."

Someone saying to a teenager, "These are the best years of your life!" I am in my mid-40s now and most people my age remember high school as horrible and awkward. The more appropriate thing to say is, "Hang in there kid! I promise life gets better. Just get through adolescence the best you can."

mkmhyk

High school sucked.

My life vastly improved in my 20s. Let's not convince teenagers that they have nothing to look forward to after high school's over and done with.

"That's nothing..."

"That's nothing... " when I tell them something only for them to turn it onto a competition and say something worse that happened to them.

cantwrite

Ah, yes.

The chronic one-upper.

Loathe them.

"Yeah, well..."

"But she's your mother!"

Yeah, well she should've acted like one.

astropxel

"I've heard it from people..."

"When you have your own children you'll understand."

I've heard it from people who don't understand that I want nothing more than my own family but being pregnant will kill me, and when I bring up adoption as a valid way of having children they'll buckle down on that phrase as to say adopted kids are not the same. It's disheartening to hear as a formal foster child and has reinforced my beliefs that no one really saw me as enough. Why would you say that to someone? All kids are the same and those without kids shouldn't be dismissed.

Internet_Ugly

"I lost my daughter..."

"God has a plan" or "It happened for a reason."

I lost my daughter when I was 36 weeks in because of a sudden placental abruption followed by a uterine rupture, lost 2.2 litres of blood. I can't carry again without risking the child or myself. And I had to listen to a variety of phrases that made me want to hit those people. Those two were the worst. Followed by "You can try again" or "Did you get the child baptized?" (got this one only once though).

daytimeinsomnia

"Who on earth..."

"When are you going to have kids?"

Who on earth are you to not only insist I should stop and redirect my whole life for kids, but then put me on the spot and make up a timetable to change my whole life? Not everyone wants kids.

OnceAndAlwaysFloran

Now that you've learned a thing or two...

...you could say that all of the responses here are an exceptional opportunity to improve your social skills.

Have some of your own stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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