5 Phrases That Make You Lose Friends Fast

These toxic phrases are friendship no-nos.

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So, I have a relative that I try to talk to once in a while. He’s flamboyantly gay. He’s also a Republican who votes for candidates that are against trans rights. I’ve had to hang up on him multiple times because he says ignorant things.

For the life of him, he can’t figure out why he can’t find a boyfriend.

Speaking as a queer person, I can point out a couple of reasons why. Voting GOP doesn’t help, nor does being someone who’s anti-trans in the LGBTGIA+ community.


Part of it also deals with him saying stuff like these toxic phrases below.

Here are 5 phrases that make you lose friends fast:

1. "I’m just trying to have a conversation…"

This phrase is so insidious because we all know that the people who are saying this aren’t just "having a conversation." They’re usually doing rage vents about racist, homophobic, transphobic, or misogynistic stuff.


I mean, even if it’s not the typical hate-filled spewage, the problem with this phrase is that it’s only said when they keep steering the conversation to stuff people don’t want to talk about.

If it’s clear that a conversation is getting people agitated, stop talking about it. You’re doing nothing but making people uncomfortable and alienating yourself by continuing the conversation.

Moreover, those people you’re trying to talk to (cause you’re not talking to them) do not owe you a conversation. They don’t.

So, don’t act like they’re being unreasonable when you’re being obnoxious about it.

If you want to rage at other people about politics or uncomfortable subjects, find a community that lets you do that.


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2. "I was only joking, jeez, stop being so sensitive!"

You know, jokes are supposed to be funny.

Whenever people say this stuff, it’s always after they say something that was purposefully hurtful, racist, sexist, or just not thoughtful to the people around them.

Like, dude. We know you weren’t totally joking. Stop backpedaling, already, and just own the fact that you’re trying to pull "Schrodinger’s Douchebag" moves.

Personally, I tend to stop hanging out after I hear this phrase for the first time.

If you’ve been wondering why people stopped inviting you, making awful "jokes" and then backpedaling might be why.


3. "Oh, you’re wearing THAT here? You’re brave…"

So, I saw this a lot with people in my former jobs in New York — all of them fashion-y and trendy AF. Well, there were a lot of girls there that played the "Mean Girl" role pretty well as a way of keeping others in line.

Incidentally, none of them remained friends after they stopped working there. Those who did were often part of the same clique minus the ringleader.

Yours truly ended up remaining in contact with several of the people who were fired, often for years afterward. Those who were HBIC, on the other hand, were not even involved in the fashion industry years later and none of their cronies stayed in touch.

Truth be told, everyone eventually drops the girls who act like Queen Bee when the Queen Bee stops having power. Nobody really likes them because they’re judgemental, hateful, and insecure women.


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4. "[Hate speech]"

I’ll never understand why so many people feel like saying hateful things is a good idea — especially if they don’t know the person or if they know the person is friends with the group that they’re hating on. Like, why?

Hate begets hate. It’s the natural way things go.

If you’re going to be a hateful douchebag, don’t be shocked when people distance themselves from you. It’s not becoming of you and it puts people on edge.

What’s really baffling about this is how many people don’t put two and two together about this. What’s even more amazing is that when people start to get radicalized toward hateful s***, they start to notice people walking away as a result. And it never seems to click!


Yeah, if you defend people like Putin or Andrew Tate, then you are going to lose friends. #SorryNotSorry, hate makes you ugly and unlovable.

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5. "So, anyway, did you hear about that coworker?

So, I’ll be the first one to admit that I got to the point where I was desperate for acceptance at one job. I didn’t know how to make it happen, so I turned into the office gossip…which promptly ousted me from any chance of being in the inner circle.


I heard them talking crap, so I wanted to show that I could do it too. Welp, that backfired. Like horribly. Mea culpa, people.

I learned my lesson. Gossip, especially when you’re tearing others down behind their back, isn’t charming.

I’m proud to say I stopped that s*** and grew as a person. I just wish I had stuck to my principles before that.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.