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Platitudes that just make you wanna punch back
January 31, 2014 9:12 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for more phrases and platitudes that people give as advice to someone being bullied or having to deal with a nasty ex. Not actually looking for good advice, just gathering the cliche's to use in an art project.

Some examples:
there are two sides to every story
just give it time, karma will balance things
just ignore him and he will stop
you just need to communicate clearly
just ignore him and he will go away
It takes two to argue
turn the other cheek
you're just too sensitive
trust in god, he's got a plan
posted by lostinspace to Human Relations (64 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
kill him with kindness
the best revenge is living well
posted by sockermom at 9:15 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


It takes two to tango

Baby mama drama

Try to see his point of view

Don't push his buttons

He said she said
posted by bearwife at 9:15 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"Be the bigger person."
"He's/she's just trying to get your goat."
posted by infodiva at 9:18 AM on January 31


They're just jealous.
Give it time.
posted by tchemgrrl at 9:19 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


For little girls being bullied, "He just has a crush on you!" There was a thread on the blue about it.
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:22 AM on January 31 [7 favorites]


She doesn't like herself, that's why she picks on you.
He's just teasing you.
It was just a joke. Can't you take a joke?
posted by Melismata at 9:24 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Just do your thing

You know who you are, and your real friends will too

Be yourself

Make sure you can look yourself in the mirror and be happy with your actions, that's whats most important
posted by lullu73 at 9:25 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


My personal favorite: "Haters gonna hate!"
posted by lovableiago at 9:26 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


"god never gives you more than you can handle" (used in many situations)

another vote for "they're just jealous" (for the bullies) and "you're just too sensitive" and "just ignore them, they will go away"

"be the better/stronger person"
posted by bessiemae at 9:27 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


"Boys will be boys." Ugh. Rage just thinking of it.
posted by amelioration at 9:31 AM on January 31 [13 favorites]


"god never gives you more than you can handle" (used in many situations)

(That's 1 Corinthians 10:13, btw.)
posted by stebulus at 9:35 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


There are other fish in the sea
You dodged a bullet with that one
At least you didn't marry him
The deserve each other (particularly after being cheated on and the cheaters form a relationship)
posted by bilabial at 9:36 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


They'll grow out of it - just wait.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:37 AM on January 31


Also:

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
posted by bilabial at 9:37 AM on January 31 [9 favorites]


don't let anyone take up space in your head rent free

keep your chin up

just be yourself

you attract more flies with honey

they do it because they're hurting, too

you teach people how to treat you
posted by marimeko at 9:38 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Oh God yes, exes:

He's a jerk, you're well rid of him.
You'll find someone else soon enough.
You're the better person/take the high road.
Someday, he'll regret the choices he made.
posted by Melismata at 9:41 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Once, when a pretty significant relationship of mine ended, my grandma said, "honey, some day your true prince will come riding in on a white horse," and it was about the most off-putting thing anyone could have said at the time. Or maybe ever. Ugh.
posted by phunniemee at 9:47 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


Anything that attempts to excuse the jerk's behaviour is usually hugely unhelpful.

"They don't know any better."
"Someone probably did the same to him, and he doesn't know any other way to be."
"What a sad pathetic person to do that. I pity him."
"I hope no one ever treats him as badly as he has treated you."

also, vague promises of how the jerk will suffer because of what they did, like "He'll get his one day" or "Someday someone will do the same to him" or "Karma is a bitch".
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:47 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


Everything happens for a reason.
posted by snowysoul at 9:49 AM on January 31 [17 favorites]


He's only doing it to get a rise out of you.
posted by Rob Rockets at 9:53 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"Sticks and stones..."
posted by Rob Rockets at 9:54 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


I like "Everything happens for a reason," "There are two sides to every story," and "There's no bad guy or good guy here."

"Stop playing victim."
"You teach others how to treat you."
"Trials build character."
"Relationships are about learning how to be unselfish."
posted by celtalitha at 9:58 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"You're so much stronger now."
"Stop dramatizing."
posted by celtalitha at 9:59 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


It's lonely on the moral high ground, but the view is divine.
posted by Capri at 10:21 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


These great contributions make me think of the other side, the platitudes inside our own minds that make the above platitudes from others seem like they're useful information or helpful in some way:

I can't be honest, they won't like it.
If people really knew me, they wouldn't like me.
If I just find the perfect person I'll feel better.
I'll do what I have to do to make them like me.
They deserve it.
They made me feel this way.
They didn't behave based on my unspoken expectations.
They're making me do this.
I'm only ok if I control the outcome.
I'll just say yes to get them to stop bothering me.
I'll make them into the kind of person I want.
etc.
posted by jardinier at 10:24 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


"You're too good for him anyway."
posted by brainmouse at 10:25 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


He only bullies people bcs he feels insecure.

It will only bother you if you let it.

What goes around comes around.

Karma will take care of it.

Just ignore him.
posted by phoenix_rising at 10:29 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


When God closes a door, He opens a window.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:40 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


There's a light at the end of the tunnel.
posted by Sophont at 10:44 AM on January 31


It's all part of God's plan.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:44 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


I always hated "Just let it go" because it is SO hard to do sometimes.
Also - "Don't let it/him/her get to you."
When I hear the "light at the end of the tunnel" I always say, "But it's a train."
posted by routergirl at 10:47 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


Don't let the bastards get you down.
posted by scody at 10:48 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"He's just calling because he wants to be friends. Can't you just be friends with him?"
"God never gives you more than you can handle." (The implication being there's something wrong with YOU if you can't handle it.)
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:49 AM on January 31


It'll only make you stronger. (What if I want to be weak?)
God only gives you what you can handle. (what if he's mixed me up with someone else?)
Learn from your pain.
Once when I loaned money to someone who it turned out probably wasn't going to pay me back, my dad said, "Sounds like you just paid for an education."
posted by routergirl at 10:51 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


DTMFA
posted by macadamiaranch at 10:58 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"Rise above it."
posted by McPuppington the Third at 11:00 AM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"It is what it is." Maybe only quasi-relevant to bad relationships, but the sheer unhelpfulness of this statement frustrates me to no end.
posted by dean_deen at 11:04 AM on January 31 [3 favorites]


(For bullies, not exes) "One swift punch in the nose and he'll never bother you again."
posted by escabeche at 11:05 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


When my husband's dad died, a young up-and-comer at his job told him as they were crossing paths in the corridor, "I bet you learned something about yourself, didn't you?"

[blech]
posted by cartoonella at 11:48 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


"It gets better."
posted by Pudhoho at 12:02 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”


― Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story


hope it's a punching bag!
posted by tilde at 12:02 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


What goes around comes around.
posted by TedW at 12:11 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


"Just let it go."

why don't you let go of my first with your face why don't you...
posted by overeducated_alligator at 12:33 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


One from John Scalzi's Old Man's War:

A Drill Sergeant tells the story of a tattoo on his arm. It's a corporate logo, an anthropomorphized cartoon tire named Willie Wheelie that is the mascot for a motorcycle company. The Sergeant tells us that he used to be married to an evil, abusive woman. Over the course of many years she broke him down slowly until his ego and self-respect were destroyed. In the end he considered suicide. Then, at rock bottom, one night when he was wandering the streets aimlessly he looked up at a billboard. He saw Willie Wheelie, and Willie Wheelie's slogan. The cartoonish image of Willie Wheelie became his personal emblem, a symbol that a new life would be possible for him. Willie Wheelie's tagline became his mantra.

"Sometimes you just gotta hit the road."
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:40 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


hate breeds hate
posted by tan_coul at 12:54 PM on January 31


"Suck it up." Hearing that makes me want to kill!

Worse yet, is being told to "calm down."

Oh, where's that ricin cigarette.....
posted by BostonTerrier at 1:51 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


Things I heard from my parents and school staff / adminis-traitors at my school when I was being relentlessly bullied:

"Just ignore them and they won't bother you anymore."
"The only common factor in all of these situations is YOU." (Implying there was something wrong with me)
"Stand up for yourself!"
"You have to fight back!" (because in a 6 or more against 1 situation, that's really plausible.)
"Be a man!"

Ugh. Rage is building inside of me just THINKING about that time of my life.
posted by tckma at 2:13 PM on January 31 [4 favorites]


The saying I hate, and that makes me want to punch the other person in the face for saying it, is "Smile, it may never happen!" This wasn't said in response to anything other than me being deep in thought or just not smiling. Most of the time I was told that right after I'd spent the entire lunch time being bullied.
posted by Ranting Prophet of DOOM! at 2:49 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


"It doesn't matter who started it."

Yes, mom and teachers. It does. It matters very much.
posted by quincunx at 4:44 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


"Teasing is loving."
posted by little_dog_laughing at 7:32 PM on January 31


"In order for him to treat you like a doormat, you have to lie down first."
posted by data hound at 7:58 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


"It's water under the bridge"....when the shit still kept happening.
posted by brujita at 11:58 PM on January 31


"Time heals all wounds." (No, obviously it doesn't.)
posted by Violet Hour at 1:16 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


It's OK to be sad/angry.
posted by M. at 1:16 AM on February 1


I love/hate this one because it comes via crazyperson Patti Stanger of Millionaire Matchmaker:

"A man's rejection is God's protection"

(Modify pronouns as needed)
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 5:21 AM on February 1


1 Corinthians 10:13 says God will not allow you to be *tempted* more than you can bear. It says nothing about other forms of suffering.

Anyway:

You were only teased because you responded to it
You always imagine hat people are thinking about you but they're far more busy thinking about themselves

Stand up for yourself

The reason he screams at you is because you don't scream back at him

You just have different expectations

A lot of things seem to really get to you

No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent

Do you think what she said is true? well if you know it's not true, that's all that matters

If you let her insults hurt you, you're only proving that you share her values (I.e. if it upsets you that she called you ugly it only proves that you agree with her that ugly people are worthless)

shyness is just a form of arrogance
posted by tel3path at 9:32 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]


"You're letting him/her do this to you." / "Don't let him/her do this to you."

"Why do you care what he/she thinks?"

"You're just overreacting."

Basically anything that puts the fault for the bullying on you, not the person doing it.
posted by dekathelon at 8:57 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


"You have to look within yourself to figure out why you keep attracting/allowing people like (ex) into your life," or its variant, "You need to respect yourself more than that."

They're both true, but they're also muy shamey and it's so not helpful when you are already on the floor self-esteem-wise.

+1 to marimeko's "you teach people how to treat you" GRAR

*shakes fist*

p.s. thanks for this thread

posted by cardinality at 3:02 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
Everyone gets "their fair share" of suffering (implying it's a given that all things are equal if only you can remember so).
The past is in the past.
Anything is possible.
If you don't like your life, change it. Or, don't complain because you could change it "if you wanted to".
Behave "appropriately".
You take things "too seriously".
"Life is short".
Well, there is karma. (in the colloquial sense of karma, I have no knowledge of what karma actually means traditionally speaking).
The world is just in the end.
posted by Blitz at 4:02 PM on February 2


If you don't react, they will stop/They're doing it because they know they can get a reaction.
posted by Hactar at 5:51 PM on February 2


Haha, for me the absolute worst is:

"Lighten up."
posted by htid at 5:58 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


"We wouldn't pick on you if we didn't like you."
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:00 AM on February 3


"It was/wasn't meant to be"
posted by nowonmai at 4:56 AM on February 3


"This too shall pass."
posted by werkzeuger at 5:52 PM on February 3


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