Maya Angelou once said, “Words mean more than what is set down on paper.” With words, there is no spell check or thesaurus and we’ve all said things that came out the wrong way or were interpreted much differently than expected. Sometimes your first interaction is your only interaction, so it’s important to get your words right and make an impactful first impression.

TalentSmart tested the emotional intelligence (EQ) of more than a million people and discovered that social awareness is a skill that many of us are lacking. We lack social awareness because we’re so focused on what we’re going to say next — and how what other people are saying affects us — that we completely lose sight of how our words affect other people.

However, the beauty of social awareness is that a few simple adjustments can vastly improve your relationships with other people. Here are seven social offenders to avoid in any casual conversation to ensure you are on your way to better social awareness.

1. “You look tired.”

A much better alternative to “you look tired” is to simply ask if everything is okay. Most people ask if someone is tired because they want to show care and concern, however it makes the person on the receiving end feel less attractive

2. “Wow, you’ve lost so much weight!”

Telling someone that he or she has lost a lot of weight suggests that they used to look heavy or unattractive. Instead say: “You look fantastic.” This one is an easy fix. Instead of comparing how someone looks now with how they use to look, a simple compliment goes a long way. It takes the past right out of the picture.

3. “You always…” or “You never…”

No one always or never does anything. People don’t see themselves as one-dimensional, so you shouldn’t attempt to define them as such. These phrases make people defensive and closed off to your message.

4. “You look great for your age.”

Using “for your” as a qualifier always comes across as condescending. No one wants to be told they are attractive and old. Instead say: “You look great.” Another easy fix! Genuine compliments don’t need qualifiers.

5. “As I said before…”

We all forget things from time to time. This phrase makes it sound as if you’re insulted at having to repeat yourself, which is hard on the recipient (someone who is genuinely interested in hearing your perspective).

6. “Good luck.”

Although not the worst thing to say, “good luck” can have a touch of doubt or unbelief woven into it. Instead say: “I know you have what it takes.”

7. “It’s up to you.” or “Whatever you want.”

While you may be indifferent to the question, your opinion is important to the person asking (or else he wouldn’t have asked you in the first place). Instead say: “I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but a couple things to consider are…” When you offer an opinion (even without choosing a side), it shows that you care about the person asking.

Lakeside Executive Suites believes in everyday conversation and in life, it’s the little things that make all the difference. For this reason, we are South Florida’s premium choice for workspace solutions. Detail oriented with your needs in mind, Lakeside Executive Suites is Weston’s premier office space provider offering full service office space and virtual office solutions. Our first-class business center and bilingual support staff have everything your business needs for success. From executive meeting rooms to live phone answering service, mail receipt and mail forwarding services, reception service, and a prestigious business address…our amenities, location, and staff set us apart from other workspace providers.

Gain time back in your day with Lakeside Executive Suites so you can ensure every interaction is a positive, beneficial one. To learn more visit us on the web at www.lesweston.com or call (954) 389-2511.

Source: Inc.com