16 Seemingly Harmless Phrases That Are Actually Toxic

“It’s not the worst thing in the world.”

The fact that your situation is better than that of the starving children in Africa won’t make you happier. And it won’t relieve

 your pain. Some people tend to want to simplify your problem (often unintentionally) by saying trivial things, and making you feel guilty about your negative emotions, which according to the person who tries to comfort you, are caused by insignificant reasons.

  • A better way to say this would be, “Can I do something to make your situation easier?” Suggest something specific, like going to the supermarket or picking up the kids from school.
“It could be worse.”

The fact that your situation could be worse doesn’t really help you. Yes, it could’ve happened this way, but mentioning it devalues your feelings.

  • A better way to say this would be, “I’ll be by your side if you need me.”

“I never really liked him.”


This phrase won’t help solve the situation and will make the other person wonder why you didn’t tell them this earlier. Judging the man your friend has strong feelings for will hurt her even more.

  • A better way to say this would be, “You deserve a person who will appreciate you, and you’ll definitely find them.”
“I only want what’s best for you.”

This phrase is usually followed by the unwelcomed invasion into your personal space and a piece of advice you never asked for. Toxic people are usually pretty persistent, while timid and shy people don’t have enough strength to stop communicating with them.

  • A better way to say this would be, “I don’t know what you feel right now. I’ve never been in this situation, so it’s hard for me to understand what you’re going through. But I want to understand you better, let’s have coffee and talk.”