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Six Words And Phrases That Make Everyone Hate Working With You

Some of the most common expressions carry subtle undertones of resentment when you use them around the office


In general, it’s smart to say what you mean. In the workplace, people tend to use overwrought business jargon to compensate for not knowing their stuff. But there’s a less-apparent risk to doing just the reverse. If you sound like a walking Instagram comment, you might start to alienate yourself in your own office and lose your coworkers’ trust—even if they use those same kinds of words expressions when they’re texting their roommates.

Some terms and phrases are best left to casual exchanges with friends and family. Here are a few you probably shouldn’t let creep into your office vocabulary.


I know—what could possibly be wrong with this one? It’s so innocuous, right? You’re asked to photocopy a document or put together a meeting agenda. Easy enough. “No problem,” you reply.

The expression comes up in all kinds of business environments, and the tone is often chipper and upbeat, so you don’t give a second thought to using it periodically. Few people who hear “no problem” take it literally, but at a level just beneath consciousness awareness, it telegraphs an underhanded resentment. The speaker implies the possibility that somebody has created an issue that they’re willing to let slide.

It’s not the (nearly absurd) risk of a literal misinterpretation that you should guard against, though. It’s the likelihood that you’ll default to “no problem” when presented with tasks you consider menial—giving directions, taking minutes, photocopying, wrapping a package, or stepping out of someone’s way in an elevator—and unconsciously show your annoyance with them (including nonverbally).

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