This list will make you cringe, especially if any of these phrases are in your common parlance.
1. “You look tired.”
2. “Wow, you’ve lost a ton of weight.”
3. “You were too good for her anyway.”
4. “You always…” or “You never…”
5. “You look great for your age.”
6. “As I said before…”
7. “Good luck.”
8. “It’s up to you.” or “Whatever you want.”
9. “Well at least I’ve never _______.”
Ha! How good is that list? As a father of teenagers, I am constantly correcting them for using #4. I was a little surprised by #7 so I’ll close with the author’s explanation (which is a good one):
This is a subtle one. It certainly isn’t the end of the world if you wish someone good luck, but you can do better because this phrase implies that they need luck to succeed.
Instead say: “I know you have what it takes.” This is better than wishing her luck because suggesting that she has the skills needed to succeed provides a huge boost of confidence. You’ll stand out from everyone else who simply wishes her luck.