People who lack emotional intelligence frequently say these 11 phrases without realizing their impact
Have you ever had a chat with someone and they say something that leaves you shocked, thinking,
“Did they really just say that?”
It’s not because what they said was hard to understand, but because it didn’t fit the emotions of the moment.
This is often a sign that someone isn’t so great at understanding emotions – their own or others’.
This skill of understanding and managing emotions is called emotional intelligence, or EQ for short.
People with high EQ are usually really good at talking to others, understanding their feelings, and knowing how to act in different social situations.
But what about those who struggle with this? How can you spot a low EQ?
One of the biggest clues is in the words they use. Without knowing it, they often say things that can seem unkind or just plain wrong.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the things people with low EQ often say without realizing how they sound.
By the end of this, you might find yourself thinking twice before using these phrases again!
1) “Calm down.”
Here’s the thing: telling someone to “calm down” rarely if ever works.
In fact, it tends to do the opposite.
Imagine this: you’re upset about something and in the heat of the moment, someone tells you to “calm down.”
How would you feel? Probably not calmer. Most likely, you’d feel even more frustrated or misunderstood.
People with low EQ often use this phrase without realizing that it can dismiss the other person’s feelings instead of acknowledging them.
2) “That’s not a big deal.”
Here’s another phrase that people with low EQ often use, without realizing how it can diminish others’ feelings.
What this phrase really does is downplay someone’s issues or concerns. It’s a way of saying their feelings aren’t important or valid.
And honestly, that’s just not cool.
What might seem like a small issue to you could be a huge deal to someone else.
Instead of minimizing their feelings, try expressing empathy or offering support.
Something like, “I can see why this is bothering you,” or “How can I help?” shows you respect their feelings.
In the end, being sensitive to others’ emotions can help build better connections and make our conversations more positive.
And isn’t that what we all want?
3) “You always…” or “You never…”
These are two phrases I used to use quite a bit, without realizing the impact they had on my relationships.
A while back, I was having a disagreement with a good friend of mine. In the heat of the moment, I found myself saying, “You never listen to me!”
Looking back now, I see that wasn’t fair or accurate. My friend didn’t always ignore me, but in that moment, I was frustrated and used an absolute term to express my feelings.
People with low EQ often use “always” and “never” statements to emphasize their point. The problem is, these statements are rarely true and can make the other person feel attacked or defensive.
And let’s be honest, no one likes to feel attacked.
So here’s my advice: next time you feel like using an “always” or “never” statement, take a breath. Try to express your feelings without accusing the other person.
For instance, “I feel like my opinions aren’t being heard,” is a much better way of expressing your emotions without putting the other person on the defensive.
Trust me, making this small change in your communication can have a big impact on your relationships.
This one might sound like an apology, but is it really?
This phrase is actually a prime example of a non-apology, or an ‘apology’ that doesn’t really express regret or acknowledge responsibility.
Instead of genuinely apologizing for something they’ve done, people with low EQ often use this phrase as a way to shift the blame onto the other person.
It’s as if they’re saying, “I’m sorry that you feel bad, but it’s your problem, not mine.”
A more emotionally intelligent response would be to acknowledge and take responsibility for your actions.
Something like, “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. It wasn’t my intention and I’ll make sure to be more careful in the future.”
A genuine apology can go a long way in mending relationships and fostering understanding. So if you’re in the wrong, don’t shy away from taking responsibility.
It might be difficult, but it’s a sign of maturity and emotional intelligence.
5) “I know how you feel.”
This phrase is often used with the best of intentions. We say it when we’re trying to show empathy, to let the person know that we’ve been in their shoes.
But here’s the truth: unless we’ve experienced exactly what they’re going through, we don’t truly know how they feel.
Each of us has our own unique experiences, emotions, and ways of dealing with things. What hurts me might not hurt you as much, and vice versa.
So when we say “I know how you feel,” it can sometimes come off as dismissive or insincere. It can seem as if we’re not truly acknowledging their unique experience or pain.
Instead of jumping to “I know how you feel,” a more emotionally intelligent response might be something like, “I can’t imagine exactly what you’re going through, but I’m here for you.”
This shows that while you may not fully understand their situation, you’re there to support them.
At the end of the day, it’s about being present and showing genuine care for others’ feelings. Sometimes, just knowing that someone is there for us can make all the difference.
6) “It’s not my fault.”
I’ll confess, this is a phrase I’ve used more times than I care to admit. It’s a knee-jerk reaction when something goes wrong and we feel the need to defend ourselves.
A few years ago, I was working on a team project at work. When our project didn’t go as planned, the first words out of my mouth were, “It’s not my fault.”
Looking back, I realize that this was a defensive response that didn’t help the situation.
People with low EQ often use this phrase to deflect blame instead of taking responsibility. But here’s what I’ve learned: it’s not about who’s at fault. It’s about working together to find a solution.
Instead of immediately saying, “It’s not my fault,” try taking a moment to assess the situation. Maybe there’s something you could have done differently. Perhaps there’s a way you can help fix the problem.
A simple, “Let’s see how we can fix this,” can foster teamwork and show that you’re willing to take responsibility.
Trust me, taking a more proactive approach can make all the difference in both your personal and professional relationships.
7) “You’re too sensitive.”
This phrase… it’s a low blow, isn’t it? It’s like saying, “The problem isn’t that I hurt your feelings, it’s that your feelings are too easy to hurt.”
And that’s just not fair.
People with low EQ often use this phrase as a way to shift the blame onto the other person. It’s their way of avoiding responsibility for their actions or words.
But everyone has the right to their feelings. What might seem like an overreaction to you could be a completely valid response to someone else.
Instead of telling someone they’re too sensitive, try practicing empathy. Try saying something like, “I didn’t realize this would upset you and I’m sorry.”
This shows you respect their feelings and are willing to understand their perspective.
Always try to treat others with kindness and respect. When you’re tempted to tell someone they’re “too sensitive,” stop and think about how your words might affect them.
8) “I don’t need your input.”
Did you know that one of the key traits of emotionally intelligent people is that they value feedback? They understand that different perspectives can provide valuable insights and aid in personal growth.
The phrase “I don’t need your input” can come off as dismissive and arrogant. It sends the message that you’re not open to other viewpoints or willing to consider different options.
A more emotionally intelligent response would be to welcome others’ thoughts and opinions.
Even if you don’t agree with them, acknowledging their input with something like, “I appreciate your perspective,” can encourage open dialogue and mutual respect.
9) “It’s just a joke.”
I’ll be honest, I’ve used this phrase more times than I can count, especially when my attempts at humor haven’t landed as expected.
I remember one time, I made a joke about a friend’s new haircut. I thought it was all in good fun, but my friend didn’t see it that way. When I noticed they seemed upset, my immediate response was, “It’s just a joke.”
Reflecting on it now, I realize that what may seem funny to one person can feel hurtful to another.
People with low EQ often use this phrase as an excuse when their words hurt someone else. But the truth is, if a ‘joke’ hurts someone’s feelings, it’s not really a joke, is it?
Instead of dismissing their feelings with “It’s just a joke,” a better approach would be to apologize and ensure them you didn’t intend to cause any harm.
Something like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you with my comment,” shows you are considerate of their feelings.
So, from personal experience, I can tell you: being mindful of our words and how they might affect others is an important part of emotional intelligence.
Let’s cut to the chase: “Whatever” is basically the verbal equivalent of an eye-roll. It’s dismissive, it’s disrespectful, and it doesn’t leave room for further discussion.
People with low EQ often use this word as a defense mechanism when they’re feeling cornered or uninterested in continuing a conversation.
But the thing is, using “whatever” shuts down communication and can leave the other person feeling belittled or ignored.
Instead, try expressing your feelings honestly. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, say so. If you need time to think, ask for it. Honesty is always better than dismissal.
11) “That’s just who I am.”
This phrase is often used as an excuse for bad behavior or habits.
But here’s the thing: we all have the capacity to grow and change.
Saying “that’s just who I am,” is a way of avoiding responsibility and shutting down any potential for growth.
Part of being emotionally intelligent is recognizing our flaws and working on them. It’s about taking feedback positively and making an effort to improve.
Instead of using this phrase as a get-out-of-jail-free card, try acknowledging your shortcomings and expressing your intention to work on them.
It’s never too late to start practicing emotional intelligence in your everyday life.
So why not start today?