“Are you feeling OK? You look tired.”
1. “You’re cute!”
This probably either means you think I look or act young or am short. Instead, tell me I’m great looking, or stylish. Everyone wants to be hot and stylish. “Cute” is an adjective best reserved for your friend’s baby who you don’t know what to say about and your cat.
2. “You have a really pretty face.”
This can sometimes too easily translate to, “Too bad it sits atop your body which is not pretty or attractive, or worth commenting on at all.”
3. “Why aren’t you smiling?”
Maybe it’s because I’m looking at my phone and writing an email. Am I supposed to smile all the time, even when I’m staring at a wall? Also, have you ever stopped to consider that maybe I’m not smiling because you’re talking to me?
4. After you order a salad: “Are you watching your weight?”
Actually, I just haven’t eaten lettuce in five days because I’ve been subsisting off pasta and peanut butter in lieu of buying groceries, and I thought eating something that grows in the ground would be a good idea.
5. “You lost weight.”
Yeah, maybe. Or maybe I’ve been sick or lost my appetite because something terrible happened to me. And maybe my weight just doesn’t ever need to be commented on.
6. “Are you feeling OK? You look tired.”
Feeling slightly worse now that you told me I look tired. It’s called not being 21 anymore.
7. “Have you been working out?”
I assume this means I looked out of shape the last time I saw you. Thanks for noticing!
8. “You look like [insert celeb of your same ethnicity/hair color here].”
Well, maybe if you’re drunk or lost your glasses, all brunettes look the same, sure.
9. “You changed your hair.”
Translation: “I see you got a haircut but I don’t like it enough to just say, ‘I like your new haircut.'”
10. “That outfit’s … different.”
I realize my fashion sense might be beyond your comprehension but if you’re going to comment on how I look without complimenting me maybe it’s best not to say anything at all.
11. After you get back from vacation somewhere tropical: “You don’t look tan.”
Yeah, I might not look orange but at least I won’t also resemble a piece of leather in ten years.
12. “Only you can pull that off.”
You’re just saying that because you think I look ridiculous in this and don’t want to tell me.
13. “You’re a real firecracker!”
You’re condescending! Say this to someone next time and see how they react.
14. “You did your best.”
Actually, what if I didn’t do my best? What if what I want is confirmation that I didn’t do my best and am seeking actual actionable advice about how to do my best next time?
15. “Everything happens for a reason.”
No it doesn’t. Everything happens because life isn’t fair and makes no sense. Besides, would you tell this to someone who lost their parent/spouse/child in a freak accident? Maybe you could give me a hug when I’m upset instead of blaming the cosmos.