'Get a grip' and 'pull yourself together' voted most annoying phrases to use when trying to comfort someone
- Poll of 5,000 adults also vetoed ‘there, there’ and ‘keep a stiff upper lip’
- Instead, use phrases ‘one day we’ll laugh at this’ and ‘I really feel for you’
- One in five Brits say they often don’t know what to say to comfort a friend
It is sometimes hard to know what to say to a friend in need.
But whatever words you choose, stay clear of ‘get a grip’ or ‘pull yourself together’.
They have been voted the most annoying phrases to use to comfort someone.
The phrases 'get a grip' or 'pull yourself together' have been voted the most annoying phrases to use to comfort someone
A poll of 5,000 adults also found ‘there, there’ and telling them ‘keep a stiff upper lip’ will also not necessarily be appreciated.
Instead, the phrases ‘one day we’ll laugh at this’ and ‘I really feel for you’ are genuinely reassuring, it was found.
Researchers for AXA found one in five Brits admit they often don’t know what to say to comfort a friend, colleague or relative.
Language expert Susie Dent said: ‘We all know that little words or phrases can mean a lot, yet so few of us know just what to say.
Researchers for AXA found one in five Brits admit they often don't know what to say to comfort a friend, colleague or relative
‘Phrases, such as “chin up”, or “it could be worse”, usually have the opposite effect; they feel tired and impersonal, even dismissive.’
TEN MOST ANNOYING PHRASES
1 Get a grip
2 Pull yourself together
3 There, there
4 Pain is just weakness leaving the body
5 Keep a stiff upper lip
6 Plenty more fish in the sea
7 Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever
8 Worse things happen at sea
9 That’s too bad
10 Chin up
The most commonly used phrase in Britain to reassure others in times of need is ‘I know how you feel’ with nearly a quarter of people using it on a regular basis.
Experts who carried out the study found overall, the phrases have a much greater impact on women than they do on men, with women around 18 per cent more affected than men by what others say to them in times of need.
Looking at the most annoying phrases, 74 per cent of women hate hearing “get a grip” compared with 62 per cent of men.
However, one in 10 men uses the phrase on a regular basis.
Women also dislike being told to ‘pull yourself together’ with 73 per cent finding it annoying compared with 59 per cent of men.
Just under a quarter of men (24 per cent) said they use the phrase regularly.
The most commonly used phrase in Britain to reassure others in times of need is ‘I know how you feel’ with nearly a quarter of people (24 per cent) using it on a regular basis.
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