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Eight Things You Should Never Say Out Loud

Eight Things You Should Never Say Out Loud

By Melissa Albert

According to science, the average person has approximately 70,000 thoughts per day. According to decency, common sense, and the occasional threat of flying fists, you should probably choose not to express up to 69,900 of those thoughts. We're all for freedom of speech, but there are still a few things you should think about before you say. Then think again, then stuff a muffin in your mouth, just in case. Here are eight of those things:

"No offense, but..." "No offense, but your new haircut should be illegal." "No offense, but I wouldn't hang out with you if you were my last chance at survival in a postapocalyptic world." No offense, but is not a magical shield that protects you from taking responsibility for all the words that come afterward. You can try to tell someone how to feel about the things you say, but it ain't gonna work.

"Hey, you know who you look like?" Unless you're about to say, "a hotter version of Emma Stone!," stop right there. Even if your friend's new boyfriend looks exactly like a muppet but with bushier eyebrows, you just need to sit this one out. You can't account for other people's taste, and telling them who they look like is an avoidable minefield.

"But I didn't mean to!" Unless you were literally possessed by a vengeful ghost, who then knocked your best friend into a chocolate fountain in her prom dress, then all you can really do is suck it up and apologize. Not intending to elbow your crush so hard his pencil got stuck in his nose doesn't mean you didn't do it. Apologize. Move on. And watch your elbows, girl.

"Have you been crying?" Translation: "Your eyes are red, and your face looks all puffy!" This is even worse if the person you're asking isn't really your friend, because you might just be trolling for gossip.

"I'm not here to make friends." Wait. Are you a Real Housewife? Because nobody who isn't on a reality show has ever said this, ever. What are you even talking about? Are you at the DMV getting your license? Because nobody is there to make friends. Are you at Sea World, trying to pretend you're not sad that the penguins are snubbing you? Stop wasting your time on those fickle little dudes, they're not worth it.

"This is awkward." Well, if it wasn't awkward before, it sure is awkward now! Honesty is frequently the worst policy.

"Learn to take a joke." If your "jokes" tend to end with someone crying, while everyone else shakes their heads and stares at you in silence, then it's time to accept the possibility that they are bad jokes. "See, calling you 'butthead' is funny because your new haircut makes you look like a butt! Why are your eyes wet?" Time to turn in your comedian card for reassessment.

"I'm sorry you feel that way." Has there ever been a worse way to apologize? Even writing "I'M SOOOO SORRY" on a cake and then dumping it onto your frenemy's head is a distant second worst. Let's dust off the old translator again: "I'm sorry you feel that way" basically says, "As soon as science allows it, I will have nothing but robot friends, so as to avoid 'humans' and their stupid 'feelings' forever."

What phrase would you like to declare illegal for all time?

Topics: Life
Tags: friends, awkward things, advice, conversation, funny things, awkward conversations

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About the Author
Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert reads books, worries about other people’s dogs (they look thirsty), and eats horrible candy for fun and profit. When not wearing her extremely tasteful Sparkitor hat, she’s an editor for the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. You can find her on Twitter @mimi_albert, or in the hot pretzel section of your local cafeteria.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.