Five things that you really shouldn’t say anymore in 2022


Marlies Seifert




As well-intentioned as they may be, the following statements should be assigned to the annals of history.

We all find ourselves saying something ill-considered or asking inappropriate questions now and again. But sometimes even compliments can backfire. We’ve put together five classics that you should best stop yourself from saying in future.

«You’re looking good for your age!»

You may want to be nice, but this gives the person you are talking to – typically a woman – a sense of being typecast by their age. It also implies that people automatically cease corresponding to the ideal of beauty as soon as grey hairs appear and their laughter lines start deepening. «Age positivity » is the new catch phrase with which women are freeing themselves from these preconceived ideas and wearing their wrinkles with pride. The initiators of the «grandmothers’ revolution» have proved that women can pose nude for pin-up photos at any age. 


Photo: GrossmütterRevolution

«Wow, have you lost weight?»

This suggests that only a thinner body is an attractive one. There are many reasons why people lose weight – and they may not necessarily be intentional. So please also immediately add the expressions «Have you put on weight?» «I’m working on my bikini body» and «Real women have curves.» to your list of forbidden expressions. All these sentences involve comparisons and weigh up different ideas of what constitutes the perfect body. There is therefore a simple rule of thumb: just avoid all comments about bodies, be it your own or that of others.

«It’s not that bad.»

Unfortunately, playing problems down doesn’t make them less problematic. That’s why this expression isn’t very helpful, even if it is well-meaning. The sense of what is terrible is very individual. If you want to comfort someone, show that you empathise with them and understand their pain. Take their feelings seriously. Say things like: «That’s really tough. It’s OK to be upset.» In particularly stressful situations, you should remain vigilant and seek support, if necessary – for the affected person or yourself. Warning signs for mental health problems can be found at Pro Mente Sana.


Photo: GettyImages

«You look tired today.»

Sadly, this does nothing but make the other person feel uncomfortable. If you really want to show sympathy, simply ask them how they are feeling or whether you can do something for this evidently exhausted person.

«Relaxed parents have relaxed children.»

This is an indirect way of saying that parents are to blame if they have a baby that cries a lot or their child hasn’t been sleeping well for months. Such statements only put parents under even more pressure than they are already under. It’s perfectly normal for parents to be at their wits’ end or completely drained now and again. Refeel has a list of institutions that can help overburdened mothers and fathers. Everyday tips for parents of babies and toddlers can also be found here.

Photo/stage: GettyImages