Why You Should Never Say These 3 Words In Any Argument

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man arguing with woman

Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship before can tell you that the five most useless words in any argument: “You need to calm down.” Those five words are the verbal equivalent of pouring gasoline onto lit dynamite and then throwing it into a supernova.

It may sound like you’re saying something reasonable and making yourself a victor in how to win an argument. You’re just asking the other person to take a breather, possibly put things into perspective, but in reality, that phrase always makes things ten times worse. Always. It never calms, it enrages.

There’s another, very similar term that’s being used far too much in conversations, especially political ones, at the moment, and it’s actually worse than “You need to calm down.” The very act of speaking these three little words immediately turns an argument into something altogether dumber, crueler, and less effective.

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If you want to have a completely pointless political debate, just utter these three short words.


They are possibly the three rudest words in the English language.


And I’m not just speaking about those words being used in relation to Donald Trump’s inauguration and presidency, though that phrase is used a lot in those discussions. The use of “Get over it” goes back much further than Trump’s presidency, and it’s been used by liberals and conservatives alike, even though it’s a staggeringly useless thing to say to a person.


“Hey, that thing you believe in? Don’t anymore.”

“Hey, that concern that keeps you up at night? Go to sleep.”

“Hey, that traumatic experience in your past? Forget it.”

Oh, if only life was that easy.

Telling someone that they need to “get over” something that concerns them is about as helpful as telling your spouse that they need to “calm down” after you have the biggest fight in the history of your relationship.

You are essentially telling the other person, “Your reality and your emotions make me uncomfortable, so, for entirely selfish reasons, I’d like you to stop talking and stop having that opinion.” Why does anyone EVER think that will work?

When Obama won the presidency in 2008, many liberals told conservatives that they’d have to “get over” their reservations about his administration. Cut to eight years later and Donald Trump gets elected — many would argue as a reaction to Obama’s presidency (amongst other things).

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And now what are those conservatives telling liberals? Get over it. Do they think that will actually work? Did they “get over” their dislike of Obama? No!

The entire GOP legislature remained virulently opposed to Obama’s policies for all eight years of his presidency and there was an entire popular news network that specifically catered to the concerns and fears of conservatives who didn’t support Obama.

I’m not saying that conservatives shouldn’t get to have their turn of saying “Get over it” now, but I am saying that the liberals’ use of “get over it” during the Obama years should have shown them that it’s a dumb thing to do.

Telling someone to “Get over it” is not effective. It doesn’t work. It always makes things WORSE. And it applies to more than just liberal vs. conservative BS.

For example, I’m from Detroit and it was recently revealed that a high-ranking police officer, when asked about growing racial tensions on the police force, said, "I've dealt with racial tension before. And I'm not the most PC person, but get over it. You're wearing blue."

I understand the message he was going for — the force should transcend those prejudices — but by just saying “Get over it,” he effectively made racial tensions worse. Because those three words tell people, “Your concerns don’t matter.”

You can say you don’t understand a perspective. You can say you disagree with a perspective. But when you say, “Your perspective doesn’t even deserve to be acknowledged and you just need to discard it like a piece of over chewed gum,” that’s when people get angry.

That’s when people rage. That’s when people riot. In the history of the world, telling someone to “get over it” has never, ever worked. Not even once. And there’s actually scientific evidence that shows how hard it can be for people who have suffered slights or abuse in their past to put those experiences behind them. We know empirically that it’s an almost impossible thing to do.

So, you can’t expect people to suddenly become fine with Trump’s policies because you told them to “get over it.” You can’t expect people to forget hundreds of years of social, political, or cultural marginalization because you want them to “get over it.” You can’t win an argument by saying “get over it.”

Whoever breaks out “get over it” first loses every single time. Because it shows that you’re too cowardly or close-minded to actually engage in political rhetoric. It shows that you’re so close-minded and selfish that you can’t even conceive that another person might have a different perspective than you do.

The next time you’re tempted to say “get over it,” DON’T. And if someone says it to you, try telling them to “calm down” and see how that works. (The conversation was already doomed at that point, so you might as well have some fun.)

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Tom Burns has served as a contributing editor for 8BitDad and The Good Men Project, and his writing has been featured on Babble, Brightly,, Time Magazine, Reading Rainbow, The Huffington Post, xoJane, and various other sites. He founded, a website devoted to helping parents find the right books for their kids.