The phrase to enrage.

I have not been feeling well recently. Not feeling well, as a lady, comes with a strange side effect that I am pretty sure dudes will never, ever experience. I am also pretty sure dudes do not participate in instigating said side effect, because they either have good sense or, more likely, don’t care.

Anyway, if you are female, and past a certain age, you are no longer allowed to be simply sick to your stomach. Let me demonstrate.

I haven’t felt well for about a week. My stomach has been upset, I hadn’t wanted to eat until yesterday. Food actually mostly sounded pretty disgusting. I was also really tired.

For some reason, if you’re a lady over a certain age, the proper response to that list of symptoms isn’t, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that!” or, “I’ve heard that’s been going around,” or even a simple, “That sucks.”

No, the correct response is, apparently, “ARE YOU PREGNANT?”

And it’s not even a casual question. It’s practically an accusation. You’re immediately on the defensive, and unless you’re willing to whip out facts and figures about your lady cycle and your last sexual encounter and the birth control methods you use, there is nothing you can say that sounds even REMOTELY convincing. Most of the people who say it act like they have caught you at something and will view you with vague suspicion for the next 9 months. In fact, I am pretty sure that if I do eventually end up producing a child some time in the future, I will hear at least 18 rounds of, “I KNEW IT! You said you were sick that time in the summer of 2010. I KNEW IT!”

I don’t get it. I don’t get why you’d say that. I mean yes, I understand that an upset stomach and fatigue can both be signs and symptoms of early pregnancy. They can also be indicators that your fiance is a plague monkey. Or that you had some bad cheese.

Also, haven’t we all established that you never ask if a woman is pregnant unless you can literally see a child emerging at that moment? I mean, better safe than sorry, right?

Also ALSO, if a woman was pregnant, would “I am pretty sure the banana I just ate is about to reappear” really be the best, most charming and most suitable way of sharing the news? Seriously? “Guess what everybody! I’ve doubled over with nausea and stomach cramps! Hooray!”

Yeah, no.

Thinking about that, though, got me thinking about something that middle school boys and clueless men in movies say: “Oh, you’re just mad because you’re on your period!”

Now, it’s been about 800 years since I’ve actually heard anyone use that line outside of a Jack Black movie, where Jack Black plays the hopeless goofball with no idea how to interact with women who is suddenly taught how to be a gentleman by a lady to win a bet and is set up with another lady while the first lady realizes that she has loved him all along. HowEVer, thinking about that like made me think of another thing I hate.

If I’m mad about something, just about the worst thing I think someone can say is, “You’re just mad because…” and then give some reason that, if it did not exist, I would not actually be mad, thus indicating that my righteous fury is actually not really all that justified.

Like, say you said something rude to me, and I got angry, and you responded, “You’re just mad because that kid in third grade said the same thing to you and you never got over it.” One, that doesn’t mean I’m not mad. Two, if you KNEW that, why would you even say it to begin with? AND THREE, do you REALLY think that my response to that would be, “Oh, you’re right! I guess I’m actually not mad at all!”


In fact, I would be madder. If I am mad, and you say to me any phrase that starts with, “You’re just mad because…,” I will grow huge and red and huger and redder until I eventually explode into a billion tiny pieces of glass that will cut you all over and then I will make the sky rain lemon juice, that is how much I hate that phrase.

It doesn’t even make SENSE. Say you broke one of my lamps and I was mad at you because you were kind of careless. And you said to me, “You’re just mad because you loved that lamp.” DO YOU SEE? DO you SEE how ridiculous, “You’re just mad because…” really is? It’s rude, clueless and… and… SMUGLY ARROGANT, all rolled into one. Not just smug. Not just arrogant. SMUGLY ARROGANT.

Don’t TELL ME why I’m mad like your brilliant insight into my emotions is going to defuse the situations. THAT is how people get lemon-rained on. THAT IS HOW.

Anyway, Internet, what incredibly insensitive and/or ridiculously rude phrase will automatically set your blood boiling?

90 thoughts on “The phrase to enrage.

  1. Chibi Jeebs

    “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way/think that way/took it that way… ”

    No, asshole, you’re sorry I’m pissed off and now you have to DEAL with Pissy Chibi. Shove your half-assed not-really-an-apology where the sun don’t shine SIDEWAYS.

    (See also: “calm down,” but you already know about my hatred for that one.)

    I also just realized that it’s only in the last year – by internet friends, no less – that I’ve been accused of being pregnant. My family/friends have NEVER jumped to that conclusion. I’m thinking I should take that in a way that means they assume we don’t have sex. Harrumpf.

    TJ Reply:

    YES. Such a cop out. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for what you said and the effect it had. DAMN.

    Shin Ae Reply:

    Oh my goodness. OH. MY. GOODNESS. “You just took it that way” is the story of my life. It makes me absolutely livid. I grew up with that BS and have no tolerance whatsoever for it.

    See also, the Non-apology Apology, in all forms. APOLOGIZE OR DON’T but don’t give me that crap.

  2. Jade

    “You’re a girl.” Well, yes, I had noticed that, most of my life, I was female. How astute of you! But just because I have a uterus doesn’t mean I can’t still kick your ass.

    But lately, what’s been really pissing me off, “When are you going to have kids?” Let’s see, according to my psychic and OBGYN, we’re slated to have one, wrinkly little girl in November, 2011. And yes, we are definitely more than 9 months from that date, but my psychic assures me that the stars will align.

    TJ Reply:

    Pregnancy and kid-having is one of those things that really makes people feel like it’s a community issue. I realize in the past it may have been, but the older I get, the more I realize it’s really, really, really, REALLY private.

    Jade Reply:

    I’m tempted to make sure all my maternity clothes (once I AM pregnant) have a big “NO” symbol emblazoned over the belly-area. Think that’ll keep people from touching my stomach? lol

  3. Heather

    The “I’m sorry but…” where the “but” part becomes why you actually shouldn’t be upset at whatever the infraction was, or some similar ridiculousness. I refer to it as the non-apology-apology. You’re not really apologizing or recognizing my side of it at all if you’re simply using it as a doorway to enlighten me as to why I shouldn’t have felt that way in the first place.

    TJ Reply:

    YES. I spent ages explaining this to a dude friend in college. The “BUT” totally negates the apology. I try to be VERY strict with myself with apologies. “I’m sorry.” Full stop. If I feel like I need to say more, then I’m obviously not that sorry and should take another angle because it’s just insulting.

  4. Liz

    A)I stick by my claim that you are just allergic to the dogs.
    b)I’m kidding, I don’t really hope that’s the case.

    Things that MAKE ME BATSHIT CRAZY:

    a) “I’m sorry you feel that way” – NO. No. Be sorry you DID the thing that made me feel that way, not that my feelings are they way that they are. DIFFERENT THINGS.
    b)”You really shouldn’t be mad about this” REALLY? Oh, THANK you for pointing that out, I am now no longer mad. Phew! Close call there, eh?
    c) “No offense, but” / “Can I be honest?” Both are really just catch phrases for: “Let me say something openly tactless/mean.” I mean, rock on if you’re gonna say it, but don’t make yourself feel better about it by qualifying it.

    Lately, on a different tact, I’ve been getting REALLY PRICKLY at people assuming I don’t feel like my stepkid is a “real” kid and asking me when I’ll have my own “real” kid. I mean, I get what they’re saying but I still think they’re dicks for saying it. I do, in fact, want to have bio-kids, but my biggest fear is that my step daughter will feel like they’re more important to me than her, and apparently a lot of other people assume that’s the case. (I recognize this issue is kind of more me than them, but I still shoot them death stares for being rude enough to ask. I mean, really, haven’t we all acknowledged that asking people about procreation plans is just rude ANYWAY?)

    M.Amanda Reply:

    “I’m sorry you feel that way,” is what I use when the person is discounting my feelings like the only thing that counts is whether they approve, regardless of my perfectly reasonable logic and/or valid opinion. Super pissed off that I didn’t go out of my way to get you a birthday gift in the middle of dealing with my mother’s medical crisis while doing the work of three people because my employer is dragging his feet hiring replacements? I’m sorry you feel that way, but not sorry I prioritize my family’s health and keeping the job that feeds my family over making you feel as super duper special as your parents told you that you are.

    That’s kind of an extreme example, but it seriously pisses me off when people think them being mad about something I’ve done automatically means I should be ashamed and sorry about doing it.

    Liz Reply:

    Oooh, I totally see your point from that extreme. But you can only say it if you really don’t care if the person is made (note: my husband will never be allowed to be in that catagory. Ahem)

  5. Francine

    I hate being shushed. When my ex and I would begin to argue, his defense/response was always “sshhh, sshhh, sshhh” Just remembering it makes me wonder how he’s still alive.

    TJ Reply:

    That’s just like “CALM DOWN.”

    OH MY GOD, I’m seeing red just remembering this:

    Kit Reply:

    YES! Every time I’m having a bad day or am stressing out or am doing anything other than smiling and having a wonder-fucking-ful time, my boyfriend likes to wrap his arms around my shoulders and calmly, gently, soothingly say “Relaaax”.

    Do you have any idea how UN-relaxing that is? It just makes me want to punch him in the kidneys and go back to crying/being angry/whatever else I was doing because he does it sometimes when he thinks I’m upset and I’M NOT.

    Oh God, it makes me angry just sitting here at my desk.

  6. Julie

    Ok this may seem weird and ungrateful of me, but when people refer to my cancer by saying, “I am sure you will be just fine” OH really? My doctors say I have a little better than 60% chance of being alive in 5 years, but you are sure. I realize they are trying to be nice and positive, but for some reason that phrase makes me peevish and want to write an email in case something does happen saying, I am, in fact, not just fine. Sometimes I get worried about it, and it’s a real possibility it will come back, so just let me learn to live with that reality, don’t try to sugar coat it to me, I am an ICU nurse for crying out loud…I Know.

    I hate that all that sounds like I am some brat, but really, if someone wants to address it with me, I wish they would just say something nice instead of trying to gloss over it.

    Liz Reply:

    A friend of mine recently delivered still born twins at 30 weeks (…ugh, it makes me hurt just to write that), and she clued me in: the only acceptable response for bad things that happen that can’t be made better is: “This sucks so hard. Want to talk?” That’s it. Full stop. No “I’m sure it will be fine!” or “You’ll get over it eventually!” No. “This sucks so hard” is the way to go.

    So I say to you: I’m sorry about your cancer. That sucks so hard.

    TJ Reply:

    I hate people who minimize like that. Not only is it unrealistic, but then YOU’RE made to feel like an asshole for continuing to worry or think it’s a big deal. Like “Um, didn’t I just tell you that you’re going to be fine? ISN’T THAT ENOUGH FOR YOU?”

    Uh, no.

    Honestly, I may come across as insensitive to some people when it comes to illnesses, especially cancer, but it runs in my family and I’ve got nothing more to say than, “dude, sucks.” I get that you’re SUPPOSED to say something like, “I’m sure it will be fine” but how the fuck do I know? All I know is, dude, sucks.

    Ruune Reply:

    I feel for people in this situation – like I know that there is a really awkward silence and you are just really trying not to say “Gee, I hope you don’t die” or “Man, I’m glad it’s you and not me” and look like a putz, but this is one situation where it is absolutely better not to fill the conversational pause.

    And totally agree that this happens with grief and loss as well. There’s an awkward pause and then “Well, he is in a better place now”. When I was younger my infant brother died in an accident and the worst one I heard was “I think many people who have lost a child would say that they are better/stronger for the experience” Um, no. Not an appropriate comment.

    Alias Mother Reply:

    A week after my father died someone responded with “Well, everything happens for a reason.” Every if I believed that, which I most fervently DON’T, it still would not have been comforting a mere seven days after his death.

    It has always stuck out as the least sensitive post-death comment ever.

  7. Chaninn

    “Whatever.” Drives me up the wall. If you didn’t care for my opinion or stance on an issue you wouldn’t have brought it up in the first place. Saying “Whatever” is SO rude and SO…dismissive that I just can’t deal with that person after. UGH.

  8. Charlotte

    Okay, unless I am showing someone an ultrasound they are not allowed to talk any of that pregnant shit.

    I am gluten intolerant and before I knew it I would get nauseous, yes, but my stomach would also get circus freak distended. We shall not even discuss the amount of people who asked me if I was pregnant. There was a part of me that wanted to conjure up some sort of clever response a la Kate Harding’s, “No, but the night is young.” However, the other part? The part with the mouth? Just wanted to tell these people precisely how hard I wanted them to go fuck themselves. Sigh. When they try to convince you that you are wrong and just don’t know but their super secret clever zygote radar caught on before your silly mortal senses would? I wish them nothing but a lifetime of pissing razor blades.

  9. Carrie

    This is hard to explain, but I will try to paraphrase.

    “OMG I am so busy I just don’t have time to do X because I have all this other stuff that I need to do RIGHT THIS SECOND.”

    What I would like to say in response: “OK. Let’s try ‘Hey Carrie, I’m really busy, would you mind taking care of X for me? I’d really appreciate it'”.

    Seriously. Is it so damn hard to just ASK ME FOR HELP? Am I just supposed to assume you want me to do something for you? This happens a lot with one guy at work, and I just start FUMING when he starts it. Come on just one little question, you don’t even have to say please, just FECKING ASK INSTEAD OF PULLING THIS PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE OR WHATEVER THING IT IS.

  10. M.Amanda

    Ridiculously, because I’ve read so many pissed-off accounts from non-pregnant women who were asked if they were and so many bitching posts from women who think it is the ultimate rudeness to comment on her pregnancy or ask questions, I have said absolutely nothing to the new coworker who is obviously pregnant. She’s one of those size 2 petite women who is all belly, so barring some medical oddity, she is pregnant, yet I am afraid to acknowledge it at all lest I am wrong and have to work closely with someone who despises me for the next couple years.

    I’m wondering if she thinks I’m cold and uninterested or just too stupid to realize she’s not a fat chick who carries it all in one area.

    TJ Reply:

    That is a tough one. I think I would eventually end up making a joke about worrying about the whole thing and what to say or what not to say so I could congratulate her because oh man how awkward.

    Natalie Reply:

    She must be the only pregnant person on the planet who has managed to not mention her pregnancy at all!!

    I like to think I have super radar on these things (even though I have never been pregnant). My friend who never goes to the dr, went and had blood drawn, and I was immediately suspicious (she was pregnant). But another pregnant friend mentioned she stopped taking her cholesterol medicine and I was completely clueless. So, my radar is spotty at best.

  11. Ashley

    “It’ll be okay.” Said in a condescending tone by the person who pissed you off and now thinks you’re overreacting. Also, as someone already said, when people say, “Whatever,” as a response instead of, you know, an ACTUAL RESPONSE. So rude and juvenile!

    TJ Reply:

    I totally use “whatever” on Phil. However, when I do it, it’s to deliberately be infuriating. Because I know that is an infuriating thing to say.

  12. Natalie

    Mine is “you look tired”. Personally, I try to only comment on people’s appearances with a compliment. If I think they look tired, I might ask about their weekend or how it’s going and figure if they want to tell me, they will. If not, not my business.

    Also, my husband will ask me if we have things that he knows we have, when he’s really asking me to bring it to him. “Do we have a blanket?” I’m happy to bring him things if he asks appropriately, but this makes me want to shout that I threw all the blankets in a wood chipper and the towels are next so DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.

    TJ Reply:

    “You look tired.” That one is so loaded. Because maybe they are tired. Or maybe that’s just their FACE. I only say that to Phil.

    Natalie Reply:

    Exactly! I have hereditary dark circles, so to some people, I may always look tired. But that doesn’t mean you have to tell me about it.
    You’re allowed to say this to Phil because you may have reason to know he IS actually tired (Brinkley was sleeping on his head or something), and you can theoretically do something about it (“hey, why don’t you take a nap while I … whatever”).

  13. sKRAPS

    I received the most stunning visual image when I read this phrase…

    “I am pretty sure the banana I just ate is about to reappear”

    I suddenly pictured a whole banana emerging from TJ’s mouth back into a banana peel. As if you were capable of producing a whole uneaten fruit, after having clearly eaten it.

    Quite disturbing.

    TJ Reply:


    sKRAPS Reply:

    I know right? But you are the one that wrote it.

    Ruune Reply:

    Aaaand just like that, we are back on the banana thing.

  14. Bellwether

    Should never have told my mom I wasn’t a virgin anymore. Now every time I’m sick or something hurts it’s “OMFG PREGNANT YOU CAN’T BE PREGNANT YOU’LL RUIN YOUR LIFE AHHHH”

    TJ Reply:

    Bellwether Reply:

    I can see how getting your period could be a reasonable assumption that one is pregnant.


  15. kelektra

    The phrase that makes me the absolute reddest, maddest person ever, is:

    “It was just a joke”

    After someone has gotten you completely upset over something that may have seemed inconsequential to them. Like, instead of apologizing. OH how that makes me angry. GRRR

    TJ Reply:

    I hate that. I HATE THAT. Because not only do people who say that think it absolves them of responsibility, but it also makes YOU the asshole if you keep being mad at a “joke.”


  16. Swistle

    I do say, “Oh, are you maybe…???” because throwing up is the symbol in every movie and TV show that the character is pregnant and the association is now strong, and also because I’m so eager and excited about potential happy news. I’ll stop, though, now that I’ve been educated about how enraging it is.

    TJ Reply:

    Oh man, now I feel post enragement guilt.

    I actually can get saying it in some situations. Like if someone was to say, “Man, I have not been feeling well for WEEKS and I’m SO TIRED,” and that kind of thing, and they seemed like the idea hadn’t even occurred to them.

    It’s when I say something like, “Ugh, I am so sick, I can’t stand the idea of eating right now,” as like, a one off thing, and someone goes, “ARE YOU PREGNANT?,” like I was waiting to be caught and then was suddenly going to be like, “Oh, well. You caught me. Yes I am!”

    Asking someone if they’ve considered that they might be pregnant when they’re really seeming… you know… pregnant, but potentially clueless… is way different than shrieking it any woman who ever pukes.

    You know?

  17. Swistle

    (And I never EVER mean it accusingly, or like I think I know something that person doesn’t. It’s HOPE and JOY in my voice, not GOTCHA.)

    TJ Reply:

    Yessss. It is the GOTCHA!!! that makes it aggravating. Like someone is trying to trap me into admitting it. Otherwise, it’s okay. Unless you’re my mother. BECAUSE COME ON MOM, I PROMISE I WILL TELL YOU.

  18. Ruune

    Oh, and in my experience, the “that time of the month let out clause” is still very much a factor for some people, even if most adult males have clued up not to say it so explicitly.

    And it is hard to be mad long term about it, because I do tend to blow the top off my head at certain times, but I prefer to frame it that these are all true valid issues that I am an absolute princess for not making a big deal of every other week of the month.

    But it still drives me crazy when we are in the midst of running three day trench warfare and he realises that I am also at a particular time of the month and it is like a light goes on his head – right up until I shove that damned head in a meat grinder.

  19. Kit

    I just started work at a children’s clothing manufacturer and I’m having a hard time because I’m really excited about our clothes and I want to recommend them to people, but no one I know is pregnant or has young kids. So I’m stuck being really excited about the clothes and wanting to say something like “If you ever get pregnant, oh my god, check out these clothes!” but the “If you ever get pregnant” part sounds SO RUDE.

    But the clothes are so cute, and I want to put at least something out there so that if anyone DOES get pregnant or has a friend/relative who does, they can just go check out all of the oh-my-god-these-are-ADORABLE-even-though-I’m-immune-to-the-squee-inducing-nature-of-most-baby-and-kid-stuff stuff. But how do you say “You should check out this stuff” without implying that at some point the person you are talking to is going to be pregnant or should be pregnant? ‘Cause that’s just SO not my place to decide for anyone.

    But these clothes! I mean, look at them!

    Ahmielyn Reply:

    I think a good way around that might be to say, “If you know anyone with little ones or you ever need a baby shower or kid present, please check us out here.”

    Kit Reply:

    I don’t know. I guess I’m afraid that if I’m too informal about showing people the clothes, it will seem like I’m suggesting they solve their no kids problem ASAP. But on the other hand, I worry that if I try to cover my ass and am more formal about it by saying “just in case” or “if such and such a situation happens”, then I sound like a salesperson trying to get a commission, which I’m not. I just think the clothes are cute.

  20. Ahmielyn

    I hate it when I am told, as I try to sympathize/empathize with someone’s misery, “Oh you have NO IDEA how bad it is! You’ll understand when you [fill in the blank]. Sometimes I have to wait until I’m older, or get married, or have kids, or vacation with kids, blah blah blah. Listen, people, I have the capacity to understand what your are feeling even if I’ve never been in your EXACT position before. I’ll understand when I’m older? Getting older every day. Maybe I’m more mature than you are and I knew about that LAST YEAR. I’ll understand when I’m married? Does living with a man for a few years count? I’ll understand when I have kids? I’ve been around kids of all ages all my life. I know from kids. You’re a special kind of tired because of your baby? I’m an insomniac and routinely go days on just a few hours of sleep. Dont tell me I can’t understand when I’m just trying to be nice while you bitch and complain.

    Kit Reply:

    Amen! I also hate people who try to one-up my bad day. I had a bad day at work and I would like to vent about it. Please don’t take that as an opportunity to tell me how much worse your day was. Or, even more frustrating, to tell me about some day in the past. You know, that one time when your day was worse than mine. As though you’re searching through your bad day database to come up with a more fail day than mine. Get overself!

    Natalie Reply:

    Yeah, me too. My husband does this to me all the time. Not just about a bad day, but about various aches, pains, wounds. I’ll say, man, my foot is really killing me. I’m looking for “what’d you do to it?” So I can say, “I have no idea, it just hurts *shrug*”. But I get “yeah, well, I’m pretty sure I’m getting _________ (insert terrible disease/condition) and I’m going to have to have surgery.”
    Infuriating. It’s not like I’m trying to weasel a foot rub out of it, I’m just looking for acknowledgement, I guess, and to maybe try not to step on my toe.

    TJ Reply:

    Arrrgh, I wrote about that once. As a grown adult, I’m pretty sure I’m capable of grasping the concept of most of these things. SO insulting.

  21. Laura

    Mine is “I’m sorry if..”. My husband is a reformed I’m sorry if-er. “I’m sorry if you took that badly!” “I’m sorry if I did something to upset you!” IF you did? Do you not see me seething? There is no if, there, buddy.
    I think I finally changed his ways when he said “I’m sorry if you feel that I was rude!” And I screamed “WELL THEN I’M SORRY IF I AM FLIPPING YOU OFF RIGHT NOW,” gave him the finger, and stomped away.

    He now says I’m sorry THAT I blah blah blah.

    Man, I still get pissy about the memory of that if.
    (And I’m sorry you’re feeling sick.)

    TJ Reply:

    Ooh, that would drive me nuts, too.

  22. jay

    You want the phrase? THE phrase? The one that makes me so mad I forget what I was mad at in the first place? That phrase?

    You’re just like your Mother.

    THAT phrase.

  23. Becky

    Reading these comments is getting me all worked up (the “you’re just mad because” thing! And the blaming things on “that time of the month” ARG!) But the thing that makes me most angry is the dripping with judgement comments on what I’m eating/the food I keep in my desk for snacks from my boss. Also the “well, he’s certainly not undernourished” comment about my (adorable and healthy) baby. Some people can comment on those things without making me angry, but my boss (who I usually like a lot) has a way of saying things that just makes me furious! Next time he says anything I’m going to call him judgey mcjudgerson and see what he says to that. It’s none of his business!! GAH!

    TJ Reply:

    Oooh, so rude! What the hell goes through people’s heads sometimes? HONESTLY!

  24. shriek house

    I have TWO phrases. Because I am easily enraged, I guess.

    1. “Oh, you’ve lost weight!” Whether or not I have, or needed to, you should know weight in general is pretty fraught and a good topic to NOT introduce, particularly when about MY body.

    2. “No, really, HOW ARE YOU?” delivered breathlessly in hopes of gossip/dramz by someone I really don’t confide that deeply in, after I’ve already said “fine” in response to initial query. Sheesh.

  25. Bernie

    We’re not all idiots, just clueless.
    You: I feel like $hit.
    Me: Can I get you something to drink?

  26. Chris

    The phrase that will send me into a raging fit.

    “I need you to….”

    People don’t understand the difference between needing you and wanting you. You don’t need me to come in the room so you can bitch me out, but you would like for me too.

    A former employer told me one day they needed me to do something, out of habit I responded with “let me correct that statement, you don’t need me to do this, but you would like for me to do this.”

    When they involved the area supervisor and told me they needed me to sign the negative writeup for insubordination I also schooled them. I told the supervisor “you dont need me to sign that, you would like for me to so it doesn’t reflect negatively against me. But my signature on that is not required therefore you don’t need me to sign it. Furthermore the manager didn’t need me to do the task asked but wanted me to do it. In which I did do and only corrected her choice of words.”

    From then on every-time they asked me to do something I swear it was presented to a board of managers and made sure it was worded properly. Was the funniest thing.

    Capn John Reply:

    Have you ever noticed how many Managers seem to have thought “Office Space” was an Instructional Video?

  27. Willow

    I’m definitely with all the ladies on the “Must be that time of the month” wagon! Wanna see me totally, enragedly pissed? Say that when I’m angry.

    I don’t want kids. I’m 35, and I know I don’t want kids. My boyfriend of 13 years is 38. He doesn’t want kids, either. The people who say “Oh, your feelings will change when the time is right” or “It’s different when they’re YOUR kids” can all pretty much bite rocks with a Drain-O chaser as far as I’m concerned!

    The worst though are the people who, after you relay some sort of difficulty/tragedy/trauma/whatever, say “Oh, that’s okay….” and go into their own story. NO it’s not frakkin’ OK just because it didn’t happen to YOU….Jerkoff McAsshat!!!

  28. Rhonda

    I would get infuriated whenever my brother would accuse me of lying. For a while pretty much everything I said to him he would say was a lie. I would always end up shouting “I’m not a liar” and either stomp off or run away crying tears of rage.

    Also it really pisses me off when I come home from work having had a really bad day or feeling sick and my husband comes home feeling exactly the same. It seems like everytime I feel bad so does he, and he talks about his day first. So then if I talk about mine it’s like I’m going ‘me too, me too’ like I have to copy him.

    Copycat and liar, those are what make me the most enraged.

  29. Myze

    First off, when my wife had the symptoms you described, she was pregnant, but she also had some blood oxygen issues. You might want to go to the doctor if this persists.

    Second, if you get mad at something someone else says, that’s entirely on you. Yes, it can be hard to control how you feel, but if you can’t, blaming someone else for that gets you nowhere. It’s called responsibility for a reason. You are able to respond in any way you like. If I say something you don’t like, you are responsible for your following actions and emotions. I am responsible for saying it, yes, but I am not responsible for your emotions.

    TJ Reply:

    The entire second half of that comment is basically, “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way.” Which is one of those infuriating things people say. It’s also basically discounting very valid emotions people have. Also, grown adults are certainly responsible for their own words and actions when they offend or upset other people. Honestly.

    Myze Reply:

    I’m not discounting the emotions, I’m simply not taking responsibility for them. I’ve already taken responsibility for the words. Like when you say “dude, sucks” about someone with cancer, are you responsible for the fact that they now find you to be an insensitive prick? No, because if they have any sort of moral fortitude, they’ll read under the words and see that you would like to relate to them if you could, but you don’t really know how. You can’t control their response, and you shouldn’t really try. Because if you start filtering yourself based on who is around you (something that you don’t seem like you would do anyway,) you hand over control of yourself to that person. But are they responsible for that? No, it works both ways. In that case, you are responsible for your filtering.

    Grown adults know how to respond appropriately to the words and actions of others. Reading extra nonsense into the second part of my comment isn’t really appropriate, though I understand that you’re trying to support your original position. I disagree with you. I don’t own your emotions when I say anything to you. You may find me insensitive, but I’m not out to offend you. I’m simply stating an opinion that disagrees with yours.

    TJ Reply:

    You have a very immature stance on this kind of thing. Basically, if anyone has any kind of feelings about anything you say, you’re completely absolved from responsibility for bringing about those feelings, because… you have an immature stance on human interaction. Your definition of “respond appropriately” seems to mean that no one is to be upset by anything you say. Ever. Because that wouldn’t be appropriate. That’s completely unrealistic and out of touch with social interaction.

    Your position is so ridiculous, I don’t see how you yourself don’t see how ridiculous it is. You ARE responsible for the emotions and reactions you elicit from others with the things you say. You ARE responsible for filtering yourself based on who you are around and what they may feel about what you say.

    Basically, it seems to me that you don’t really CARE what how people feel about the things you say, and use “not taking responsibility for the emotions” as a cop out for adult responsibility. I don’t find you insensitive, I find you clueless.

    Myze Reply:

    Of course I expect people to get upset at things I say. And of course I apologize if they get upset because of something I did unintentionally. I do like to keep my friends.

    That said, I do apologize, as I knew bringing my position into this discussion would likely generate a negative emotional response from you. It was not my primary purpose to do so. I simply felt that my position (people should take responsibility for their words, actions, AND emotions.) However, the most I can offer is “I’m sorry you feel upset.” I didn’t make you upset. You made you upset.

    Being upset at something is perfectly appropriate. I’m upset at things all the time. But putting words in someone’s mouth and implying something that isn’t true without any evidence to support it is not. Just like if I were to infer that you were pregnant from your vague symptoms. There’s just not enough evidence to support that. This blog post is basically about how doing what you’re doing right now is infuriating!

    I choose not to be infuriated by it, because I don’t care that you’re putting your own spin on my words. It’s your blog, that’s what it’s there for. As long as my words remain unchanged, I’m content with that.

    “If I say something you don’t like, you are responsible for your following actions and emotions. I am responsible for saying it, yes, but I am not responsible for your emotions.”

    I said that meaning I understand that when you say something, it’s your fault, and when someone says something to you, it’s their fault. The next part gets tricky. You see, when you feel rage at something, that is your fault. What you do next, that’s your fault. Not the person who “made” you rage.

    “Also, grown adults are certainly responsible for their own words and actions when they offend or upset other people.”

    You said that, agreeing entirely with my quote above. Good job! Clearly this wasn’t a point of contention, or you might have said something like

    “[the second half of your comment is] also basically discounting very valid emotions people have.”

    Or did you? That would be a silly thing to say, as I acknowledged the emotions and even made it clear that they follow from my actions. However, my topic of discussion was about responsibility. Just because you set up an event, doesn’t mean you’re responsible for the outcome of the event. For example, you move into a new place. The previous tenants didn’t maintain it well. After you moved in, are they responsible for your dirty house? No. You are, because you can choose to clean it, leave it how it is, or make it worse. It’s the same with emotions. I may have said something here that you find infuriating (I can practically guarantee it; again this is not my primary aim, so I do apologize) but I am not responsible for the emotions you feel because of it. You are. You could choose to be upset. You could choose to be happy. You could choose whatever emotion you like. They are all valid. You could then take a course of action, or none. You could respond sensibly, with at least a shred of evidence backing your position, or you could just let your fingers fly and hit “submit comment.”

    “Your definition of “respond appropriately” seems to mean that no one is to be upset by anything you say.”

    Except I never said that. I said this:

    “Reading extra nonsense into the second part of my comment isn’t really appropriate”

    Because as I mentioned before, you put your own spin on my words. You said that I was discounting other people’s emotions, when I clearly acknowledged them. You claim that I said getting upset at something I say is inappropriate, however I only spoke of appropriateness with regards to actions, not emotions. You claim my position is ridiculous, but you don’t even bother defending yours. You don’t pull out a single quote, analogy, or anecdote explaining why my position is ridiculous. Am I supposed to take it on your authority that it is ridiculous, just because you say so? Would you take that crap from one of your commenters?

    ““not taking responsibility for the emotions” as a cop out for adult responsibility. ”

    You said that, but taking responsibility for emotions is exactly what I advocate:

    “if you get mad at something someone else says, that’s entirely on you.”

    You just have to know where your responsibility ends and another person’s begins. I’m taking responsibility for my emotions. I choose to feel content in the strength of my position. And despite that, I choose to defend it anyway. When will you start taking responsibility of your emotions from the the people who say things that “make” you mad?

    TJ Reply:

    The fact that you, a grown man, are not only missing the entire point of this post be see fit to LECTURE me about how my post about how when people say thoughtless, annoying things, it’s really my own fault if I get annoyed – a statement that SO PERFECTLY fits within the complaints of every single other commenter in this post – is so ironic that I would think you were playing a joke if you didn’t seem so earnest.

    You sound ridiculous. Frankly, you also sound like a dick. The only reason I’m even leaving this comment here is so that other people can marvel at your ability to completely miss the point.

    One of your first responses in this conversation demonstrates exactly where you go wrong in this standpoint. You say, “I’m just disagreeing with you.” You don’t GET to disagree – there is nothing in my post to disagree WITH. My post boils down to, essentially, “When people say these things, I get really annoyed/upset.” There’s nothing to disagree with there. Your whole premise is flawed, because you don’t get to disagree. What you get to do is demonstrate that you are exactly the kind of person who says the very things that this post is about. The type of person who discounts valid emotions as the holder’s “own problem.” No one likes that. It’s condescending and pretty socially inept.

    That’s childish, immature, and really, and indefensible stance. I’m not engaging your own tactics of breaking down your comments word by word, because I think your whole “first you send… but then you said… haha, I am so clever!” approach because frankly, it’s annoying and I’m an adult.

    Seriously, dude, you sound like an asshole. I am willing to accept responsibility for the fact that my choice to say that may hurt feelings. I’m not willing to accept responsibility for the fact that you might BE one. That’s on you.

    Myze Reply:

    TJ, I still stand on my position. However, you are correct in that I misunderstood the topic at hand to be “what do people say that makes you mad” which I believe to be a flawed premise for the reasons I described. However, as you pointed out, it’s actually “When people say these things, I get really annoyed/upset.” It’s a subtle distinction, but there is one.

    I am requesting deletion of the original comment, and all my follow up comments.

    I don’t wish to clutter up your blog post with my off-topic conversation, and the energy already expended here on both our parts has simply gone to waste. I’m not sure you’ll honor my request, but I was basically trolling, unintentionally though it was. I apologize.

    Lauren Reply:

    Myze – To be perfectly honest, I’m not going to read the walls of text you and TJ have said to eachother, I’ve only read your initial comment. Here’s the thing. Perception of what is said is the responsibility of the speaker. Period. End of story. Ask anyone who has studied communication and they’ll tell you. If someone is upset by something you’ve said, it’s your fault, not theirs. It is the speaker’s responsiblity to learn their audience and cater to it. Not the other way around.

  30. Myze

    Holy crap, did I just start rambling there. How often do you receive comments that are actually longer than the blog itself, even if only by 8 bytes?

  31. Suzy

    I get pretty fired up when it comes to our dogs. They are family and live in the house like all dogs should. So if some non-dog person shows up and says something like “Can’t you just put them outside” or heaven forbid, when we have had sick dogs or lost one to cancer, if they used the phrase “Just a dog”, my blood would boil.
    Hope you get to feeling better soon, being sick especially in the heat of summer, is no good.

    Adlib Reply:

    “Just a dog”??? Have these people no heart, like, at all??!! There is no such thing as “just a dog”. I get teary eyed watching that Pedigree commercial about shelter dogs, for crying out loud.

    Ruune Reply:

    Ugh, I hate this one too.

  32. Natalie

    You’re going to have to go back to the previous post and add this to the list of threads with awesome comment threads.

    Team TJ.

  33. Kristi

    “I’ll let you do that” – said repeatedly by a very condescending boss. Really, thank you SO MUCH for Letting Me Do That. What a gift.

    Adlib Reply:

    Wow, my annoying phrase by my boss is “Do me a favor…” No, we are not friends, and we are not here to do each other favors. Just ask me or tell me to do something, not as if it’s some “favor”. It also sounds like he’s trying to get out of work when he says it that way.

  34. Diane

    There is a fine line between responsibility and fault. I can take responsibility for something without it being my fault that it happened. I can own my reactions to what other people say to me without that absolving them of the fault of upsetting me in the first place.

    Not that you weren’t handling this BEAUTIFULLY, TJ, but man I just had to get those words out of my head because I’m all wanting to shake that 12000 word paragraph to see if it could possibly be REAL.

  35. Delicia

    Thanks to Myze, I can add phrases like, “I only SAID it, but you CHOSE To respond that way, it’s not my fault” and “I only take responsibility for the WORDS, not for how you perceive them” to my Phrase to Enrage list.

    No, you’re wrong. This is what little kids do, they say everything that pops into their heads, because they have not yet learned the socialization skills of self-filtering, nor grasped the concept of their actions or what they say having consequences.

    You’re basically giving yourself a Get Out Of Jail Free card for your mouth, so you can say any damn thing you want because you don’t have to worry about how it will affect those around you, because it’s THEIR problem because they “chose to react” that way as opposed to you stopping a sec, and actually thinking about the impact of your words and how that person may perceive them.

    For example:

    One of my kids is trying to pick a verbal fight with the other. Kid2 can chose to walk away (ie: chose how to react) and thereby not continue fighting. It doesn’t mean kid2 isn’t PISSED, and kid1 KNOWS what they are doing will piss off the kid2, that’s WHY she’s doing it. But you’re saying kid1 is absolved of all responsibility for her actions?? See? Your argument is that kid2 shouldn’t even feel mad, that instead he could chose to feel.. happy? that his sister is showering him with verbal abuse.

    Seriously? Is that what you expect when you talk to people, regardless of what you’re saying or how you’re saying it??

    I pity anyone that has to interact with you on a regular basis.

    DDStL Reply:


  36. DaveJ

    When I mention something humorous I found to someone, and they cut me off with “No, that was stupid, it wasn’t funny, it was pointless and boring.” I guess I didn’t realize my sense of humor is objectively incorrect, perhaps you would like to enlighten me as to what IS funny, oh master of comedy, so that I may not offend in the future? If YOU don’t find it funny, anyone who does is an utter berk. Holy shlaMOLEY do I want to hit people for that. (feel free to replace “funny” with “interesting”, happens a lot too. I think I need new friends…)

    On the flipside, I find the best way to enrage anyone is call them, or something they’ve done “fundamentally flawed”. People go gorilla-poo at that one! :D

  37. Superjules

    OMG that Myze person is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. Totally over the top!

    I knew someone else who used to say “I’M not making you upset YOU ARE CHOOSING to be upset at what I’m saying.” That person? A verified (diagnosed) sociopath.

  38. Adlib

    In my opinion, “I’m sorry you feel that way” is tantamount to saying “Tough shit”. Really. Like has been stated above several times, it’s like saying “I don’t care.” RRRGH, so infuriating.

    M.Amanda Reply:

    I have to defend “I’m sorry you feel that way.” I do not think it’s always equal to “I don’t care.” Like I said above, I use it when the person who is pissed off acts like just the fact that they disapprove means that I should discount any reason I had for doing/saying it and admit I’m wrong.

    No. My opinion is just as valid.

    What I mean when I say “I’m sorry you feel that way,” is “I don’t regret making the best decision I could considering the circumstances, but I care about you and don’t want to be hurt or angry, so I’m sorry that this particular decision upsets you.” I’m acknowledging that I DO CARE, but reminding them and myself that I am doing what I believe to be right, not just being an asshole.

    It just boils down to “I’m sorry you feel that way” because by the time I have to say it, they aren’t going to listen to anything else except “You are right. I am wrong. I will now change my whole decision-making process to accommodate how you think I should live.”

    Alias Mother Reply:

    I actually use this phrase in parenting a lot for this very reason. I’m sorry that my daughter is upset because she can’t have a cookie, I feel bad that she’s crying about it, but she still can’t have the cookie. It can be used in adult conversation effectively as well, but I agree that it is totally overused and usually in a passive aggressive manner, hence the bad rep.

  39. Poneria

    I understand politeness for respect; as in, I don’t want to order you around, because you’re my equal, you’re a person, so I’ll say please and thank you and may I, y’know?

    But I don’t get politeness for offending things. Like “no offense, but [offense].” Really? REALLY? They have to make themselves feel better for being polite, because they can’t handle a person whom they knowingly pissed off? Gawd, grow a pair. North or south, I don’t care, but grow a set.

    IMO: If I say or do something to make you angry, you have a right to be angry and express that feeling to me however you want to, depending on how you would like the future of our relationship to proceed.

    @Myze: you’re saying bullying is okay, because the bullied chose to feel sad or angry or vulnerable or whatever. Being someone who has endured the majority of her life being bullied in some fashion or another, I say FUCK NO.

  40. Ashley

    Maybe we can choose the way we feel to SOME extent. We can also choose to be sensitive (that is, aware of how things we say may be perceived by those around us) and kind (choose not to say things that may be upsetting for someone else).

  41. Stone Fox

    the phrase that does it for me is:

    “TRUST ME”

    really? i should just trust you? because you are *clearly* all-knowing in the matters of X, Y, and Z? you have some secret formula that holds the answers to the mysteries of life?

    it’s SO condescending.

    it makes me verrrry suspicious of the person who has just said, “trust me.”

    and it also makes me want to tell them to suck a dick.

  42. Midian

    “Hey you know me” This is just said to excuse bad behavior. “Sorry I did/did not say/do whatever and you are now pissed but.. Hey you know me” What I should have expected this and have no justification to be annoyed because I know you? What would happen if a serial killer said that. “Sorry I want to wear other people like they are clothes but hey you know me” Would we say oh you are right we should have kept a better eye on you.. you are free to go.

  43. Aboo

    I just wanted to say that: “…I will make the sky rain lemon juice” is permanently part of my vocabulary now.

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