21 Things We All Think But Should Never Say
Not every thought we have is something that needs to be voiced.
"We were all thinking it!" is rarely a good excuse for saying something rude. Even if others are, in fact, thinking the same thing, there's a reason we all keep such thoughts to ourselves. Let your lips run too loosely and you'll shatter friendships, lose jobs, and live a pretty awkward life. After all, you've seen Liar, Liar—you know there's a reason telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth isn't always for the greater good.
For the sake of avoiding social and professional catastrophes, it's imperative to learn to keep some things to yourself. The following thoughts are proof that not everything that runs through our brains should leave our mouths. Get ready to realize that honesty isn't always the best policy! And for more common lies, check out the 60 White Lies We Tell Every Day.
"I wasn't listening."
Hey, it happens! Zoning out is human nature. Sometimes, your spouse, child, or friend is going on and on and on, and you miss the past 30 seconds or so of their story. Instead of telling them that they couldn't adequately hold your attention, however, it's better to smile and nod and throw out a, "Wow, so cool!" every now and again.
"You should not have gotten bangs."
There comes a time in every woman's life when she finds herself at a crossroads: to get bangs, or to not get bangs. If she chooses the former, it is imperative that you support her journey, no matter the outcome. At this point, the deed has been done—and even if she looks ridiculous, there's no point in making her feel insecure. Those are the rules!
"You're doing that wrong."
Seeing someone do a task incorrectly can be maddening and it's natural to have the urge to butt in. But, unless they are in danger of hurting themselves or others—or accidentally deleting hours of hard work from other coworkers—it's best not to dish out unsolicited advice.
"That was hard to watch."
We've all had a friend invite us to some sort of personal performance—a play, a poetry reading, a musical performance—that turned out to be a complete and utter disaster. And when they approached you excitedly after the show finally ended, you probably fell back on the classic: "You were amazing." (In the name of art and friendship, keep doing that.)
"I don't remember your name."
Never let someone know you don't remember their name! Just smile and try introducing them to someone new so they'll be forced to say their name again. That way, you can save yourself the embarrassment of stumbling through a "I am so sorry, I don't think I caught your name." (They know you did. You just forgot it.)
"Does this story have a point?"
The world is full of bad storytellers, and they all have a story (or six) to tell. It'd be great if we could bluntly let them know that they're wasting our time and trying our patience, but sometimes it's best to practice some manners. What's the worst case? You lose five minutes of your time? You'll survive and so will your friendship, marriage, or professional relationship.
"Your baby's not that cute."
All parents think their baby is the cutest—and crushing that notion like an ant is just plain cruel. Tell them how beautiful their newborn is and carry on. It won't cause you any pain.
"You're too good for your partner."
It's a tale as old as time: Your friend has started dating a total dud, but you nod along and smile when they talk about them because you don't want to ruin the friendship. And, for the most part, this is wise; people tend to get touchy when romance is involved.
"That doesn't look good."
If you're with someone who's asking for advice and has not left the house yet, feel free to let them hear it (gently, of course). But if they are already out and committed to an unflattering get-up, let them live out their fantasy.
"I can't come to your party because I don't want to."
This is the natural thought progression right before telling someone you can't make it to their gender reveal party due to a "prior engagement." But the truth is that sometimes, it's better to let your friends think you're at a sudden family gathering, not avoiding their celebration.
"It hasn't been great to see you."
Running into an old acquaintance can be fun… or it can be a pretty uncomfortable experience. More often than not, the case is the latter. These run-ins tend to be awkward, full of forced niceties and stilted small talk. Still, it's better to round things off with a little white lie. After all, what are the chances you run into them again any time soon?
"We're never actually going to 'get lunch and catch up.'"
And every time you and a person you vaguely know run into each other, it's mutually understood that you will make unspecific plans to grab lunch sometime. And you'll both be thinking the same thing while this occurs: We will most certainly never be getting lunch. But one must never mess with this song and dance. Far better to continue the endless waltz.
"I really want to look at my phone right now but then you'll know I'm not paying attention."
It's 2019—we all think this thought dozens of times every single day. But it's definitely rude to say it aloud.
"I don't care about your trip."
Life has but three truths: death, taxes, and the fact that, when someone you know goes on a far-flung vacation, they're going to tell you all about it (and show you an entire iPhone's worth of photos, to boot). Next time this happens, endure it with a fake smile—because you're going to do it too after your next trip.
"I don't want to hear about your workout routine."
People seem to be under the impression that we want to hear about all the nitty-gritty details of their exercise routines. Working out is great, but it's also highly personal; what works for one person won't necessarily work for the next. Still, it's not much skin off your back to listen for five minutes and pretend you'll try goat yoga with them in the future.
"This date has been truly excruciating."
Bad dates are inevitable, and thus so is this thought. It's OK to let your date know if you aren't feeling sparks, but, as long as they have at least been nice and polite, you should to return the favor—even if you've spent every second of the past two hours counting down the clock.
"They probably ghosted you because they don't like you."
Someone having romantic troubles doesn't need to be knocked down—they need to be lifted up. Even if it seems like the problem was that their romantic partner simply was not interested, fabricating a reason ("An ex must have come back in the picture") to lighten their spirits is the tactful thing to do.
"It's because of how you are."
Sometimes, people think they want your advice, but what they really want is your validation. So, when your coworker has yet another dating crisis, refrain from saying that the thing holding them back is their approach. People will only grow through experience, not through hearing snarky remarks.
"This meeting should have been an email."
Everyone in the conference room may be thinking it, but stating the obvious isn't quite worth getting reprimanded over. (But seriously, the case of the missing lunches in the office fridge could have been laid out in a company-wide email.)
"I wish my kids didn't exist… just for, like, 24 hours."
As much as any parent loves and cherishes their kids, sometimes, a small break would be quite nice, too. We feel horrible for thinking it, but as long as we don't say it out loud, we're good. Your secret is safe with us!
"You know, everything might not be OK."
The most comforting phrase you can say to someone is: "Everything will be fine." But, a lot of the time, everything won't be OK. Still, odds are, the person you're talking to needs some hope, so give them that.