Management Tips

16 phrases to communicate your displeasure in an effective manner.

Think about the last time something really upset you.

Upset or not, you have a job to do.

We all do regardless of what our situation is. Heck, if you are a stay at home parent you have a job and because of that there will always be a situation that might not be to your liking.

Are you in a management position or are you managed by someone?

If you do or if you are then this list post is for you too.

Even if you are your own boss you will still find this list beneficial. Why? Well, this list is about communication and the last time I checked no one is an island.

We all have clients, colleagues, contractors, consultants and deal with clerks, shop keepers or servers with which we need to communicate every day. As humans we all need to communicate and if we want to simply get by, make friends, keep friends or get from A to B then good communication is a key ingredient of our collective journey.

Sometimes knowing when not to talk is also a form of good communication.

I realized this today when commenting on a friend’s blog. I injected myself into a conversation (as you do) where I discovered quickly that I would have a difficult time articulating my view on a seemingly sensitive subject. I should have simply read the piece and backed away but alas I did not. After a few attempts to communicate my point of view I realized I wasn’t able to articulate myself clearly.

I apologized and then chose to gracefully back away.

<wipes brow>

Good communication is no laughing matter.

Joking about serious issues has always been my style but in this case that wasn’t the flavour of the piece and in hindsight the best thing I could have done is not written anything at all. I really enjoyed the post and had an opinion on the subject matter but the discussion that ensued wasn’t something that I was clearly understanding or willing to take a stand on.

There was no kidding around today.

Even though the conversation got a little serious no foul language was used and for that I am glad.

That is not always the case in all situations, is it?

There are always those select individuals that tend to use foul language during the course of heated conversation and in most cases I have found that people can get offended by it so I make it a point to refrain from using expletives.

Do you get offended?

Personally, I have heard it all in my day and it doesn’t bother me, however, I think it takes some skill to be articulate in any situation and resorting to the use of expletives simply lacks grace.

Therefore foul language will never be tolerated in this house.

We do, however, realize the critical importance of being able to accurately express your feelings when communicating with people when you are upset or irritated and that’s why we have prepared the following list.

16 new and innovative TRY SAYING THIS INSTEAD phrases.

When you find yourself in a frustrating situation we feel that these phrases will foster the exchange of ideas and information in a much more effective manner.

So, in celebration of good communication here we go:

  • TRY SAYING: I think you could use more training.
  • INSTEAD OF: You don’t know what the f**k you’re doing.
  • TRY SAYING: Perhaps I can work late.
  • INSTEAD OF: And when the f**k do you expect me to do this?
  •  TRY SAYING: I’m certain that isn’t feasible.
  • INSTEAD OF: There’s no f**king way.
  • TRY SAYING: Really?
  • INSTEAD OF: You’ve got to be sh**ting me!
  • TRY SAYING: Perhaps you should check with….
  • INSTEAD OF: Tell someone who gives a f**k.
  • TRY SAYING: I wasn’t involved in the project.
  • INSTEAD OF: It’s not my f**king problem.
  • TRY SAYING: That’s interesting.
  • INSTEAD OF: What the f**k?
  • TRY SAYING: I’m not sure this can be implemented. 
  • INSTEAD OF: This s**t won’t work.
  • TRY SAYING: I’ll try to schedule that into today’s activities.
  • INSTEAD OF: Why the f**k didn’t you tell me sooner?
  • TRY SAYING: He’s not familiar with the issues…. 
  • INSTEAD OF: He’s got his head up his ass.
  • TRY SAYING: So you weren’t happy with it?
  • INSTEAD OF: Kiss my ass, motherf**ker.
  • TRY SAYING: I’m a bit overloaded at the moment.
  • INSTEAD OF: F**k it, I’m on salary.
  • TRY SAYING: I don’t think you understand.
  • INSTEAD OF: Shove it up your ass.
  • TRY SAYING: I love a challenge.
  • INSTEAD OF: This f**king job is killing me.
  • TRY SAYING: You want me to take care of that?
  • INSTEAD OF: Who the f**k died and made you boss?
  • TRY SAYING: He’s somewhat insensitive.
  • INSTEAD OF: He’s a f**king prick.

So, there you have it. What better way can there be to get your point across than being nice, respectful and cordial even if you are thinking about tearing someone a new one. Have a glorious day my friends and remember good communication is the key to a happy fruitful life and career.





Over to you:

What’s your favourite way of dealing with that annoying or difficult situation that you can’t seem to understand?



About this Author: Ralph Dopping (199 Posts)

A quirky sense-o-humour coupled with an indelible sense of stylish sarcasm makes it difficult to take the world too seriously doesn't it? My faves: fun, passion and hard work. I work here everyday:


Looks like the f word is quite a favorite... well, sometimes it is the best way to get things across! :)


But yes,  communication techniques or how to make sure your communication is effective and is said in a way that the other person learns to act on it rather than react to it; I feel a lot of people could do with that. And if you so want to use the f word , then remember to take a deep breath and count to ten. In the head you could imagine bashing the person up against a wall... as long as it stays in the head!

Latest blog post: Inspiration, Laziness, Secrets

Vidya Sury
Vidya Sury

I am a split personality. Inside, I'll be saying filthy things. And outside, I'll be smiling, looking diplomatic, serene and saying all nice stuff. ;-) Oh but I am honest, too. This is mostly when someone cheats or the classic traffic situation. In my mind I'll be thinking "#$$%! @%#$# that %!$#$^$   @#%^& @&$^%" and outside, smiling, I'll say "could you please move/pass/stop - if you don't mind" and under my breath "oh, ONLY if you don't mind. after all, I've got all day, haven't i? and my favorite pastime is getting stuck in traffic"


:D My vocabulary is rather healthy. I am a closet cusser. But I come across as if-you-dont-have-something-nice-to-say-dont-say-anything.


I love this post. I am in love with lists, Ralph! The "instead of..."s are very very very helpful! And somewhat soothing, if you know what I mean.


1. What kind of Swiss people did you meet in Zürich, Ralph? 


2. Are you fond of list posts now?


3. Oops, I ran out of 

3.1 Arguments

3.2 Expletives

3.3 ahem

3.4 or ...


I love your posts and comments, maybe we have a kindred sense of humour?  I have a marketing background so communication says something to me and some meditation training has taught me to shut up more often (not only that). I am having a rather serious meeting with my boss next week and your list comes in handy, I will print it out and tick off the appropriate points. 


Dealing with an annoying situation has never been my forte and my harmony seeking nature does not help me there. But taking a deep breath and asking an open question could be helpful. I am working on it.

Latest blog post: A Concept Of Time


Ralph, this is an instant classic. Quick, go copyright it! 

Caitlin Kelly
Caitlin Kelly

This is a hoot.


My fave solution? "Excuse me?" That, and walking away. One day, when working retail, I had a woman go completely nuts on me, shouting and insulting. I hid in the stockroom.

rdopping moderator

 @Vidya Sury I knew there was more behind that smile. I can only imagine. With a healthy vocabulary you can pick and choose your expletives and use them for punctuation. That's also a great sign of intelligence and education. It is fun to "let the dogs loose" occasionally "under your breath." Ha. Cheers!


 @Vidya Sury I love that approach, Vidya! And so me, too! Just watch me in a traffic jam (apricot or cherry?), outwardly smiling and inwardly cussing - or so I thought until the day when Rebecca, then a sweet child of 4, smiled at me and said: "*%&&&/*ç!".

Latest blog post: A Concept Of Time

rdopping moderator

 @Late_Bloomers Hahahahaha.....Barbara. Use that list with your boss. GREAT idea. Thanks for the compliment by the way. It means a lot. Really. I think we do have a kindred sense of humour.


I worked with some architects in Zurich but to be honest most of the people I met were not from there. The few that I did meet that were Swiss were nice enough people when you go to know them. ;-)


Breathe deeply.

rdopping moderator

 @ginidietrich That's exactly what I am saying.


You know those times when someone asks you the same questions 17 different ways and you can't really understand why? This is for those moments or the ones where your clients are just being noobs and they don't spend the time figuring out what they want or the times when someone knows the answer to your question but evades it at all cost because they don't want to commit.


No swearing. Just calm rational responses.

rdopping moderator

 @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Well done. Good for you. I see that your writing is devoid of expletives and from what I have seen many bloggers use them to articulate a point. Since you don't why do you say you are fond of it? Just in speaking with people?

rdopping moderator

 @barrettrossie Thanks. Not much for generating comments though. Had some fun writing it though. Cheers.

rdopping moderator

 @Caitlin Kelly Best place to hide. BTW, have you seen the film Compliance? Talk about scary. Yikes.

Erin F.
Erin F.

 @Caitlin Kelly Haha! There must be one of those customers per store. I can take a lot, but this particular customer almost did me in one day. My manager came to the rescue and suggested I take a short break. Thank you, thank you, kind manager.

Vidya Sury
Vidya Sury

 @rdopping I have another technique Ralph. I just move my lips as though I am cussing without actually saying anything (why waste energy when they can't hear). It has precisely the same, if not worse effect as shouting. :-).  Hehehe.

Vidya Sury
Vidya Sury

 @Late_Bloomers I know what you mean. I've had that too! Giggle. Imagine, I ride around on a scooter with my son sitting behind  me - SO restrictive. :P until one day  I uttered one word and he quickly picked it up!


 @rdopping Ralph, do you ever sleep?


That's the way it is in Switzerland: hard to meet any Swiss as all the world wants to come and live here! The few still alive should be put under Denkmalschutz, then we would not need that list, would we?


I am going to eat lunch now, another decadent Swiss custom threatened to disappear due to globalization.

Latest blog post: A Concept Of Time

Caitlin Kelly
Caitlin Kelly

 @rdopping I have not. I wish my managers had stepped up more...I did a talk last week to retailers and retail students and said that managers must protect their staff from abuse. It's common and toxic.


  1. [...] too much going on. That’s “you know what” and a perfect example of No. 10 on my TRY SAYING THIS INSTEAD [...]