Advertising
Advertising

30 Phrases Unprofessional People Can’t Stop Saying At Work

30 Phrases Unprofessional People Can’t Stop Saying At Work

Language is not just the product of our thoughts. Our thoughts and our habits are affected by the language we use. Think of the story of how the Eskimos have hundreds of words for “snow.”

So it stands to reason that professional people have better language and thoughts than unprofessional people. Here’s a look at 30 simple phrases which you should never use if you want to be successful at work.

1. Cursing

Using curse words for every situation does not just mark you as vulgar, but as someone who lacks the creativity to come up with a better insult.

2. “We’ve always done it that way.”

The language of those who are incapable or unwilling to think of new and better ways.

3. “I’m not afraid.”

Sometimes, you should be. To master fear is better than to not have it at all.

4. “Yes.” (when you really mean no)

Telling someone you will do something when you have zero intention to do so shows disregard for what other people want.

Advertising

5. “I’m important!”

As Margaret Thatcher observed: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

6. “Are you upset?”

You should not need to ask this question. You should be able to determine other people’s feelings by yourself.

7. “Like.”

It is okay for 15-year olds to use “like” in every sentence. A professional should be confident enough to not stumble over his words.

8. “Literally.”

Similar to the previous one. Using this word to describe anything and everything shows that you don’t know any other, better adverbs.

9. “I thought you were going to do that.”

The words of someone who just assumes responsibilities onto other without communicating.

10. “That’s impossible.”

Bluntly shutting down new ideas without even giving a chance to explain the problems with the idea shows an unwillingness to adapt.

Advertising

11. “You misunderstood.”

Sometimes there are unfortunate failures of miscommunication. Then you claim to have completely misunderstood the assignment. But this is often frequently used by people who have made a promise and are now trying to back out.

12. “Sorry for being late.”

Punctuality is one of the most important things for any business. If you’re not on time, you show that you don’t care about their time.

13. “Because I’m in charge.”

This does not convince people that you should be in charge, and just incurs resentment and irritation at your high-handed ways.

14. “Sorry.”

Far too many people think that “sorry” is an all-excusing grace for their mistakes. Fix the problem, don’t just say “sorry.”

15. “I’m bored.”

Boredom is a state of mind which you can fix yourself. Find something to do, every profession has something which always needs to be done.

16. “I’m busy.”

You’re supposed to be busy, telling someone this is not going to accomplish anything. It just makes you look insensitive and only focused on your own affairs.

Advertising

17. One-upping.

No one likes the guy whose response to any story is to try to one-up and talk about something even “better.”

18. “That’s not my fault!”

A professional person should look at a disaster and think about what can be done to fix it, not look for who to deflect the blame on.

19. “I can’t do all of this.”

There’s nothing wrong in admitting that you need help. But be sure that you actually need help, and are not just looking for an excuse to be lazy.

20. Gossiping

You are a professional. You are supposed to do your job, not chat about the latest office intrigue.

21. “Details, details.”

Details are what separate the mediocre from the good, and the good from the great.

22. “I was just following orders.”

Further blame deflection, only now you’re trying to pin the blame on your superiors. That often will not end well.

Advertising

23. “I have a big plan!”

Anyone can make a plan. It’s execution that matters.

24. “I’ll deal with it later.”

Procrastination is not the mark of a professional. At all.

25. “I know better.”

There is nothing to gain by being condescending. No one will like you, and you look unprofessional in the process.

26. Mumbling

Speaking loudly and clearly is absolutely important for a professional. If you are in the habit of mumbling a lot, here are some tips which can help with that.

27. “Wow, that chick is…”

Go out to the bars if you want to pick up somebody. Don’t do it at your workplace.

28. “That’s not going to happen.”

There are much better ways to phrase refusal in a way which makes you look professional.

29. “I quit/I’m done!”

Sometimes, you have to quit. But shouting it out or being dramatic about it just shows an inability to keep it cool.

30. Saying nothing

Always be willing to speak. If you say nothing, people will make assumptions about you – and they will be often negative.

More by this author

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With 8 Signs You Have A Strong Personality That Might Scare Some People How to Achieve Quick Success at Work Even If You’re Lacking in Clear Direction You’ll No Longer Be Fooled by Skillful Liars If You Know This Concept How I Kill Boredom at Work to Regain My Productivity

Trending in Communication

1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

Advertising

1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

Advertising

If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

Advertising

6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

Advertising

In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

Read Next