Apocalypstick's ApocaLIST

Top 5 Most Condescending Things You Can Say To Someone

One day you’re in a great mood and you’re skipping on a field of dreams in a meadow of sunflowers in a rainbow barn of red velvet cupcakes made of even smaller red velvet cupcakes and on another day you’re crying on your doorstep clinging a dead rat. It just happens. And people will try to cheer you up. And you won’t want to hear it. Here’s my list of top 5 most condescending things you can say to a person. “Almie, you’re so cynical and critical,” you might say. And I understand that. Sometimes I am. But sometimes, just shut up and let me deal with it, okay? Okay, Stan?

5. “It’s gonna be okay.” Oh, is it? Is it, future wizard? Of course you can say it’s okay, you’re not the one sobbing in a bar singing “Drops of Jupiter” at karaoke night, are you? You don’t know how I feel. Am I saying that I am the only person in the entire world who has ever felt sad or hopeless? Of course not. But do I want you to waltz in here, like a rich man on a yacht, and tell me that essentially my problems are insignificant? How would you like it if you were in emotional pain and I came up to you and said, “Hey buddy, it’s going to be okay” and then gave you a pat on the shoulder and walked away as I tried to hide my guffaws over that hilarious joke Cynthia in marketing told? You wouldn’t like it at all.

4. “Hey, could you do me a favor?” This is only condescending if the person asking you this is your boss. No, sir, I will not do you a favor. It’s not a favor. I’m being paid to do it. You know this. You know that under any other circumstance I would not do you a favor. I’m only here because I’m being forced to. And you’re only here because your dad owns the studio. And your little black convertible is stupid and you look stupid in it and you should feel bad.

3. “Smile!” Why do people do this? I’m not a child in your portrait studio. Sometimes I’m not even sad and someone will walk past me and snap at me to smile and it makes me want to start screaming. Full on Janet Leigh in “Psycho” screaming. She’s screaming because she’s being stabbed in the shower. And that’s how you’re making me feel. I’m vulnerable. And you are stabbing me with your stupid comment. So I want to scream. Also, I’m naked. But that has nothing to do with the “Psycho” metaphor; I’m not even sure how that happened.

2. “Sweetie.” As in, “Sweetie, can you get me that book from the shelf?” or “Sweetie, I don’t think that hair style will work with you” or “Sweetie, that’s not what I said.” Are you my grandma? No? Okay then. There is a window in which you do not ever, ever call anyone “sweetie” and that time is from when you’re the same age as the person you’re saying it to until age 72. I don’t even think it’s acceptable to use as a term of endearment anymore. If it is and your partner has no problem with it, then go sweetie your face off, I don’t want your life. (That was supposed to be read in James Van Der Beek’s accent from “Varsity Blues” and I hope that came through.) The best way to get someone to physically pull a radiator out of the wall and throw it at you is to call them “sweetie.”

1. “It’s not a big deal.” This is usually said by the most self-entitled people on the planet who have problems even more minor than yours and expect you to drop everything in your life to help them. These are the people who left their Cranberries CD in the quad and want to get it before someone steals it. And to them, it’s a big deal. But when you tell them that you can’t pay your rent and you don’t know how you’re going to make it through the next month and they shrug and say, “It’s not a big deal, at least you have an apartment, there’s people dying in Uganda.” Meanwhile these people cannot even find Uganda on a map. Even if it was a map just of Uganda. Then come their trifling emergency when you tell them, “It’s not a big deal” and you say it in a gentler tone than they did because you’re a kinder person, they snap at you, “Oh, yeah, no problem Eleanor, it’s just my life. It’s not a big deal to you but to me it’s everything and you don’t even know what’s going on, you don’t even understand what’s happening. I can’t deal with this right now. I can’t even deal with this. You just don’t understand what it’s like to lose an iPhone, okay? You just don’t get it.”

Image from Cloud Eater.  If you liked this post, read Top Ten Problems for People Who Don’t Have Real Problems, Top 10 Underused Excuses, and Top Ten Biggest Jerks in Disney Films

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.jeffers Jessica Jeffers

    I overuse sweetie when talking to close friends, but HATED it when I worked retail and customers referred to me as sweetie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kate.watts.98 Kate Watts

    I get the “smile” thing all the time. It makes me CRAZY. Apparently other people are more comfortable if we all walk around smiling (like an idiot) at absolutely nothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christen.parker.73 Christen Parker

    Living in the southern US, I hear “sweetie” a lot and when it’s family I don’t mind. However, when old men I don’t know say it, it’s super creepy. I don’t care how use they are to saying to anyone. It’s just weird.

  • http://www.facebook.com/graceiglesiasfernandez Grace Iglesias Fernández

    I feel like we’d get along well. Love the casual Clueless reference thrown in there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/katyvcole Katy Cole

      Yes that reference also made me very happy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/almie.rose Almie Rose


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1817648 Mikayla Randolph

      I loved that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/marykatevadala MaryKate Vadala

    Almost all of those I can tolerate, except the “smile” thing. Like, nothing makes me more miserable than when it’s implied that I look miserable. THAT’S JUST HOW MY FACE IS OKAY? :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/mirandaj.eubanks Miranda Eubanks

      Yes, thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elle.caddie Elle Caddie

    I have such a bad habit where when a friend is stressed or having a bad day my automatic response is to tell them to just breathe. Then I mentally chastise myself because of course they’re breathing – duh. These examples remind me of that… I’m going to go bang my head against a wall (figuratively – I can live without the bruise).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719606883 Patty Housel

    Am I the only one who just says “GET OVER IT!” like Cher in Moonstruck? I give my friends a time limit on the crying and depression. Unless they get drugs from a doctor. Then they might get a couple more hours.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30610177 Rachel Dickinson

    OMG #4 is my life! my boss says that every. single. day. And he is only the boss because his brother owns the studio and he drives a stupid silver mini cooper!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gillian.omeagher Gillian O’meagher

    When my dad was dying, I said to a friend, “I can’t believe this is happening, my life is so awful right now” and she said, “What about me? I’ve got real problems. I don’t even have a boyfriend! & it’s almost Christmas. I’ll be single at Christmas! How do you think I feel?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/deewu Danielle Wu

    haha I totally just sent this to my friend. He is guilty of #5 all the time

    enter my giveaway here!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ena.gutierrez.5 Ena Gutierrez

    Haha thats funny! But I do like it when people call me sweetie. Probably because I;m from Texas and we use that a lot here and people like it and don’t get offended :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/shane.mabrey Shane Mabrey

    Listen Sweetie, it’s not a big deal. It’s gonna be OK. Hey, can you do me a favor? Smile!
    someones wearin their grumpy pants

  • http://www.facebook.com/shandra Shandra Goldfinger

    The worst is when random guys on the street tell you to smile. It’s like, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize my face was here purely for your enjoyment and you would prefer a smiling, mindless, female figure to ogle.” Although today I smiled when my 3 year old niece attempted to take a picture of me, and she said to “stop making that face.” So, maybe people should think twice before asking me to smile.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kelcey.wheeler Kelcey Wheeler

      That JUST happened to me yesterday at the airport. And I am normally a smiley person but I was upset because I had just found out my Grandma I’m very close to has advanced alsheimer’s (cant spell) and since I live normally in a different state, no one in my family decided to tell me and I had to find out myself when I visited her and my Grandfather this week. Haha adorable story about your niece though :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.b.graham.9 Samantha Blair Graham

    I’d like to propose a #6: Do you have the bandwidth?
    Look, I know I’m your assistant and all but seriously, I’m a human being not a computer. Ask me if I have the time or if I am able – not if I have the bandwidth. Using the word bandwidth just makes you sound like an ass and makes me want to do the task even less.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shane.mabrey Shane Mabrey

    What about “what do you do”?

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