What do Americans really regret saying at work? Which phrases in general are the most triggering or calming?

To find out, Preply conducted a survey in October 2023 among 996 people in the United States age 18 and older.

"I don't care," is cited by the greatest number of respondents as the phrase they regret using at work; "not my job," ranks second, and "this is a waste of time," ranks third.

Across all situations (work and personal life), respondents say, the most triggering phrases are "I have some bad news," and "we need to talk."

Respondents say the most calming phrases are "we'll figure this out," and "we can handle this."

Respondents say the phrases they most regret using in their personal relationships are "I don't care," and "you never listen."

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey conducted in October 2023 among 996 people in the United States age 18 and older.

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Top 10 Phrases Americans Most Regret Using at Work and in Personal Relationships

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a writer, editor, and a content strategist. He is a co-founder of ICW Media and a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji