People who are kind and empathetic will never use these 9 phrases

Kindness and empathy – two qualities that form the backbone of any healthy interaction.

Yet, there are certain phrases that people with these attributes will never use.

Why? Because these phrases can damage relationships, create mistrust, or simply hurt others.

Being kind and empathetic is about understanding others’ feelings and perspectives, not manipulating them.

And 9 phrases directly go against this principle.

Get ready to reassess your vocabulary and ensure your words align with your intent.

1) “You’re too sensitive”

Kindness and empathy are all about understanding and validating others’ feelings, not dismissing them.

One phrase that kind-hearted and empathetic people will never use is “You’re too sensitive”.

This statement can belittle the receiver’s feelings and experiences, making them feel invalidated or misunderstood.

It implies that their reaction is an overreaction, rather than a genuine response to a situation.

Empathetic individuals understand the importance of acknowledging others’ emotions.

They know that everyone has a different threshold for what they find upsetting or uncomfortable.

If a person is upset, an empathetic response would be to offer comfort or understanding, not to tell them that they’re overreacting.

Let’s erase “You’re too sensitive” from our vocabularies and replace it with more empathetic alternatives like “I can see this upset you” or “Let’s talk about what happened”.

Empathy is about understanding, not judging.

2) “That’s just how I am”

When it comes to maintaining harmonious relationships, self-awareness and the willingness to change are key.

A phrase that I’ve learned to avoid is “That’s just how I am”.

I used this phrase quite a bit in the past, especially when someone pointed out a behavior that was less than ideal.

I thought it was my way of being authentic to myself.

But over time, I realized that this phrase can come across as dismissive or even arrogant.

It implies that I’m unwilling to consider the impact of my actions on others, which is not what kindness and empathy are about.

I remember once a friend told me that my tendency to interrupt others mid-conversation was coming off as disrespectful.

Instead of acknowledging her feelings, I brushed it off saying, “That’s just how I am. I get excited and can’t hold back my thoughts.”

In retrospect, I should have listened more carefully and worked on improving my conversational skills.

Instead of using “That’s just how I am” as a shield against criticism, let’s use these moments as opportunities for growth and learning.

After all, kindness and empathy are about showing respect for others’ feelings and needs.

3) “I know exactly how you feel”

While it may seem like a statement of solidarity, “I know exactly how you feel” is a phrase that people with real empathy avoid.

Even if we’ve been through similar situations, everyone’s experiences and emotions are unique.

When we claim to know exactly how someone else feels, we risk minimizing their feelings and experiences.

Psychologists have found that this phrase can create a disconnect between people, as it assumes that emotions are universal and identical across different individuals.

Instead, an empathetic alternative could be “I can’t fully understand what you’re going through, but I’m here for you.”

This phrase acknowledges the person’s unique experience while still offering support and understanding.

4) “It could be worse”

When someone is going through a tough time, the last thing they need to hear is “It could be worse”.

This phrase might seem like an attempt to help the person see the bright side, but it can come off as dismissive and insensitive.

People who are kind and empathetic understand that everyone’s feelings are valid. They know that it’s not helpful to compare someone’s suffering to others.

Instead, they might say something like, “I’m sorry you’re going through this” or “How can I support you right now?”.

These phrases show that they’re there to listen and help, not to minimize the person’s feelings or situation.

5) “Just get over it”

Telling someone to “just get over it” is another phrase that those with kindness and empathy steer clear of.

This phrase implies an oversimplification of their feelings or experiences, and it’s dismissive of their struggles.

Truly empathetic people understand that emotions aren’t something that can just be switched off at will.

They recognize that everyone has their own pace when it comes to healing and overcoming challenges.

Instead, they might say something like, “Take all the time you need, I’m here for you”, showing their patience and willingness to support the person through their healing process.

This approach respects the person’s feelings and reinforces the fact that there’s no set timeline for dealing with difficult emotions or situations.

pic2004 People who are kind and empathetic will never use these 9 phrases

6) “You always…” or “You never…”

In my journey towards becoming more kind and empathetic, I’ve learned to avoid using blanket statements like “You always…” or “You never…”.

These phrases can feel accusatory and often lead to defensiveness rather than open, constructive conversations.

Instead, I’ve found it’s more effective and respectful to focus on specific behaviors and how they make me feel.

For instance, rather than saying “You never listen to me,” I might say, “I felt unheard when you didn’t respond to what I was saying earlier.”

This way, I’m communicating my feelings without blaming or criticizing the other person.

As a result, they’re more likely to listen and understand where I’m coming from, fostering a deeper connection based on mutual respect and understanding.

7) “Why can’t you be more like…”

Comparing people to others is something I’ve learned to avoid. “Why can’t you be more like…” is a phrase that can easily hurt and belittle the person you’re speaking to.

It sends a message that they are not good enough as they are.

I remember a time when I was compared to my more outgoing sibling, and it made me feel like my quieter, introverted nature was a flaw.

It took me years to appreciate my qualities and understand that being different is not the same as being less.

Instead of comparing others, I’ve learned to appreciate and affirm them for who they are.

A phrase like “I admire your ability to…” acknowledges their unique traits and reinforces their self-esteem.

Because everyone is different, and that’s what makes us special.

8) “That’s not my problem”

People who are kind and empathetic tend to be good listeners and helpers.

They understand that even if something isn’t directly impacting them, it can still be important to someone they care about.

Because of this, they will never say “That’s not my problem” when someone opens up about a challenge they’re facing.

This phrase can come off as uncaring and dismissive, even if it’s not intended to be.

Instead, they might say something like, “I’m sorry you’re dealing with this, how can I help?” Or even a simple “That sounds tough” can show that they’re understanding and supportive, rather than dismissive of the other person’s issues.

9) “I don’t care”

The phrase “I don’t care” is perhaps the most contrary to kindness and empathy.

It directly communicates a lack of concern or interest in the other person’s feelings or experiences.

Being kind and empathetic means caring about others, their feelings, and their experiences.

It’s about showing understanding, support, and respect.

A more empathetic response might be, “I see that this is important to you,” or “Let’s talk more about this.”

Both of these responses show that you’re willing to engage with the person and their feelings, rather than dismissing them outright.

In the end, the words we choose to use can greatly impact the people around us.

Let’s choose them wisely.

Words matter: The power of empathy

The significance of language goes beyond mere communication. Our words can either build bridges or erect walls.

They have the power to heal or hurt, to uplift or pull down, and to comfort or distress.

Kindness and empathy are more than just traits – they are ways of interacting with the world.

They guide us in understanding others’ experiences, acknowledging their emotions, and responding with compassion.

Empathy isn’t about fixing someone’s problems; it’s about being present and understanding their feelings.

It’s about saying, “You’re not alone. I’m here with you.”

As we navigate our interactions with others, let’s remember that our words are a reflection of our empathy and kindness.

And in doing so, we can make our corner of the world a little more understanding, a little more compassionate, and a lot more connected.

Picture of Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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