If someone uses these 10 phrases in a conversation, they lack integrity

You know how people talk? Those words can tell us if they’re honest or not. This article is all about that.

Being honest and sticking to your word is called integrity. If someone doesn’t have this, they might not be trustworthy. And the cool part? Their words can give them away!

We’ll look at 10 things people say that might show they’re not honest. This isn’t 100% certain, but it can give you a clue.

Ready to learn how to spot these hints? Let’s go!

1. “Trust me”

Let’s kick off with a phrase that might seem quite innocent at first glance – “Trust me.” After all, it’s something that many of us might say in a conversation. However, it can also be a red flag, especially when it’s used too often or without a solid reason.

A person with high integrity doesn’t need to constantly remind others to trust them. Their actions speak louder than their words, and they earn trust through consistency, reliability, and honesty. If someone keeps saying “trust me” but doesn’t back it up with trustworthy behavior, it might be a sign that they’re trying too hard to convince you of their honesty.

Just remember, anyone can say “trust me,” but it’s their actions that truly earn our trust. So next time someone repeatedly insists you to trust them, it might be worth taking a step back to observe if their actions align with their words.

2. “I never said that.”

This phrase takes me back to my high school days, where a friend of mine had a habit of denying things she clearly said. One moment, she’d be promising to return my books on time, and the next, she’d look me straight in the eyes and say, “I never said that,” when asked about the missing books. Frustrating, right?

When someone frequently uses this phrase, especially when you’re sure they did say ‘that,’ it might be a sign that they lack integrity. Denying their previous statements not only muddles the truth but also questions their reliability.

So, if you find yourself in a similar situation as my high school self, remember that it might not just be a simple memory lapse. It could be an indication of a person trying to dodge responsibility or even manipulate the situation in their favor. Keep an eye out for this one!

3. “I don’t remember doing that.”

Sometimes, this phrase can be completely honest. We all have moments of forgetfulness, after all. But when “I don’t remember doing that” is used again and again to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, it becomes a real issue.

People with integrity take ownership of their actions – the good, the bad, and the ugly. They don’t conveniently “forget” their mistakes or missteps. They own them, apologize if necessary, and learn from them.

If you’re dealing with someone who regularly claims to not remember, especially when it comes to acknowledging their errors, you might want to question their integrity. It’s tough to trust someone who constantly dodges accountability, isn’t it?

4. “It’s just business.”

This phrase is often used as an excuse to justify actions that might not be entirely ethical or fair. When someone says, “It’s just business,” they might be trying to separate their actions from their personal integrity. But here’s the truth: integrity isn’t something you can switch on and off depending on the situation.

People with strong integrity maintain their principles consistently, whether they’re dealing with personal matters or business decisions. They don’t use phrases like “It’s just business” to dodge the ethical implications of their actions.

So, if someone regularly uses this phrase as an excuse for their questionable actions, it could be a sign that they lack integrity. Ethical behavior isn’t a part-time job, it’s a full-time commitment!

5. “No offense, but…”

This phrase can be quite deceptive. It often precedes a negative or hurtful comment, giving the speaker an easy out, as if to say, “I warned you, so you can’t get upset.” But here’s an interesting fact: according to a study by psychologists at Eastern Illinois University, prefacing an insult with a disclaimer like “No offense, but…” does not reduce the hurt it causes.

People with integrity strive to communicate openly and respectfully, without resorting to veiled insults. They understand that such disclaimers don’t absolve them from the impact of their words.

If you’re speaking with someone who often uses “No offense, but…” before launching into criticism or a negative comment, it could indicate a lack of integrity. Genuine, respectful communication doesn’t need a caveat.

6. “I’m just saying…”

Ever been in a conversation where someone drops a harsh comment or criticism and then quickly retreats with, “I’m just saying…”? It can feel like a verbal hit-and-run, right?

This phrase is often used as a way to shirk responsibility for the impact of one’s words. It’s a quick escape route after expressing a potentially offensive or hurtful opinion, making it seem like they’re just making a casual observation and not a pointed remark.

Individuals with integrity stand by their words and are mindful of their potential impact. They don’t hide behind “I’m just saying…” to deliver underhanded comments.

So, if someone frequently uses this phrase to dodge accountability for their words, it might be a sign that they’re not as reliable or honest as they may want you to believe. After all, our words carry weight, and taking responsibility for them is a mark of true integrity.

7. “But everyone does it.”

This phrase reminds me of the time when my younger brother, Lachlan, tried to justify taking an extra piece of cake by saying, “But everyone does it.” As we grow up, this kind of justification doesn’t really cut it, especially when it comes to matters of integrity.

If someone tries to validate their actions by stating “But everyone does it,” they’re basically saying that it’s okay to do something wrong as long as others are doing it too. This is a red flag for a lack of personal responsibility and moral courage.

People with integrity don’t follow the crowd when it comes to making ethical choices. They stick to their principles, even if they’re the only ones doing so.

So, if you come across someone who frequently uses this phrase to justify their actions, it might be a sign they’re not as principled as you’d hope. Just like Lachlan had to learn, it’s not about what “everyone” does; it’s about what’s right.

8. “It’s not a big deal.”

Sometimes, people use this phrase to downplay their mistakes or actions that might hurt or inconvenience others. By saying, “It’s not a big deal,” they’re essentially dismissing any harm or discomfort they’ve caused. This is not just dismissive, but it’s also an evasion of responsibility.

People with integrity acknowledge their mistakes and the impact they have on others, no matter how small. They don’t brush it off with a “it’s not a big deal.” They understand that what might seem insignificant to them could be important to others.

So if you’re dealing with someone who regularly minimizes their actions with this phrase, you might want to think twice about their level of integrity. Honesty and responsibility mean recognizing that even small actions can have big impacts, and it’s always a ‘big deal’ to do what’s right.

9. “As far as I know.”

This phrase often acts like a safety net, a way for people to avoid fully committing to what they’re saying. When someone uses “As far as I know,” they’re sharing information but also leaving room for doubt. It’s a clever way to avoid being caught in a lie, since technically they’re not claiming to know everything.

Here’s an interesting fact you might recognize: this phrase is a popular trope in spy movies and crime dramas. Characters use it to evade questions or conceal the truth without outright lying. It’s a telltale sign of a classic ‘shifty’ character.

People with real integrity are upfront and clear in their communication. They don’t hide behind qualifiers or vague phrases. They’re open, honest, and stand by what they say.

So if you hear “As far as I know” a lot from someone, it might be a hint they’re not being fully transparent.

10. “That’s not my problem.”

When someone uses the phrase “That’s not my problem,” it could be a sign that they’re unwilling to take responsibility or to show empathy towards others’ situations. This phrase indicates a lack of concern and a refusal to help or get involved, even when involvement might be the right or kind thing to do.

People with integrity are often willing to help others, even if the issue at hand is not directly their problem. They show empathy and try to contribute to solutions rather than shrugging off the issues that don’t directly impact them.

So if someone regularly responds to difficulties or challenges with “That’s not my problem,” it might be an indicator that they’re lacking in integrity.

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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