9 thoughtless, defensive statements you've definitely said in every argument and what to say instead

Fact is, most of the time when we talk, we don’t choose every single word that comes out of our mouths — that would take way to much damn work, and I got shit to do today. So we tend use a lot of code words, common sayings and other thoughtless words to get our points across.

When it comes to an argument, critique or other difficult conversation, thoughtless usually equals asshole-ish, rude and defensive. Here are a few of those code words, sayings and other thoughtless statements you need to remove from your dictionary.

 

“You’re making me feel bad.”

No one can make you feel any way. Your feelings are your own reaction to a thing. That thing isn’t responsible for your feelings. Remove the blame and just say how you feel.

Try saying: “I feel bad.”

 

“I can’t believe this.”

Look, unless Marvin the Martian steps out of his spaceship and knocks on your front door, you can believe basically anything. What you’re really saying is that you’re refusing to believe it.

Try saying:

“This is shocking.”

“I don’t like that/this.”

“I’m scared, confused and having a really hard time making sense of this shit.”

 

“Fine.”  See also: Whatever

Vintage wine, coverture chocolate and my boyfriend’s ass are “fine.” Your emotional state is not, has never and won’t ever be “fine.” We say fine when we want to get around saying how we really feel – almost exclusively when we feel things we don’t like.

Try saying:

“I don’t really know how I feel.”

“I’m not feeling great but I don’t really want to talk about it right now.”

“I feel (insert feelings).” Examples: Good, bad, happy, horny, energetic, weak, content, chill, high, tired, hangry, uncomfortable, excited, etc.”

 

“I can’t help it.”

Even if you were Born This Way, yes the hell you can. You’re really just saying that you’re doing it because you feel like it.

Try saying: “I can help it but I won’t.” You’ll feel like an asshole, and you should.

 

“What have you done?!”

Why does it matter? You don’t have to be an angel to have a valid point about someone else fucking up.

Try saying: “Let’s deal with this problem first, but since we’re talking about it, I have a few things I’d like to say afterward.”

 

“It’s not my fault/problem.”

No one cares, and it’s irrelevant to being a good person in the situation.

Try saying:

“I really don’t care right now.”

“I feel like this isn’t something I should have to deal with.”

 

“Always/never”

Almost nothing is absolute, even when it damn sure feels that way.

Try saying:

“I feel like (insert problem) is happening too much/little.”

 

“You’re overreacting.”

Translation: I don’t care about what you care about and wish you cared less.

Try saying: “You seem really bothered. Help me understand why?”

 

“That’s just not me; I don’t do that.”

Yeah, you probably did do that. Even if you didn’t, denying it outright doesn’t take their feelings into account.

Try saying:

“Is this the first time you’re telling me about this?”

“That seems out of character for me. Can you give me examples?”

 

What are some of the defensive statements you say or have heard? Leave them in the comments below.

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