Things you should never say to someone

Carole Hodorowicz, Columnist

Branching off of last week’s rant about how baby boomers should stop talking down to me about my nose piercing, this week I am here to discuss words that should never be used to spark discussion, or even be said in passing. 

Disclaimer: I am not trying to point a finger at anyone. Rather, I am trying to point in the right direction. We all slip up sometimes. I know I have said a few of these things myself in the past. Together, we can work on getting better. 

1. “You look tired.” “Are you sick?” 

I know, you know, we all know what you are really saying when you say this to someone. You are essentially calling someone ugly, whether you mean to or not. Even if the person you are saying this to is tired or is sick, the last thing that person wants to hear is confirmation from their peers that they look as bad as they feel.

2. “Chill out.”

There has never been one moment in history that these two words have ever made someone instantly become free of their anger, forget all of their troubles, and just chill. This two-word statement should be eradicated altogether. More often than not, it only makes a situation and someone’s anger worse. 

3. “Man up.” “Stop PMSing.”

So this is what we are not going to do: we are not going to contribute to the toxic masculinity and female stereotypes still plaguing society. If you notice that someone is upset, be a decent human being and simply ask them what is wrong. Let’s promote healthy conversation instead of using language that punishes someone for having emotions. Every feeling and emotion is valid. These statements take that away and cause people to bottle up their feelings rather than open up.

4. Any comment relating to what someone eats, how much someone eats, or when someone decides to eat.

Are you a doctor or a nutritionist? No, you are someone who should just mind their own business. Focus on what you have on your plate instead. 

5. “Are you blushing? You’re blushing.”

At least for me, this is something I am asked and told way too often. My cheeks start turning pink when someone even waves in my direction. So yes, as you can see by the vibrant shade of red from all the blood rushing to my face that I am in fact blushing. And no, I do not need you to state the obvious.

6. “Why don’t you just smile?” or anything that alludes to someone having an RBF (“resting bitch face”)

Sometimes, people do not want to put on a façade and mask their true feelings. Other times, people just don’t feel compelled to slap a smile on their face all day long. And they definitely don’t feel like being told that they always look like they are angry. 

7. “Is that you in that picture? I almost didn’t recognize you!”

This one is rarer than the others. It is a comment I have encountered once before on my Instagram while I was in high school. Yes, I still carry that grudge with me in the back of my mind because I am still struggling to decipher what it means. Does it mean I look better than I usually do, or does it mean I look worse than I usually do? The answer has yet to be determined.

These statements and questions are used so often that they can become bad habits. Like all bad habits, with practice they can be broken.

Carole Hodorowicz is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]