We all have those driving cliches — things we say to ourselves and others that are common, but not helpful. For instance, you might ask your friend “are you sure she’s going to be there?” when they text you asking for directions or tell someone “don’t worry about it!” when they ask for help. Such cliches can actually hinder our relationships and make us seem less competent. Driving when tired, sick, or medicated causes: impairment which adds to driving risk.
12 car driving clichés are:
1. “Are you sure you’re going to be there?”
When you constantly question someone’s plans, they begin to feel like they can’t count on you. Don’t give the impression that you don’t have confidence in them. If there is a real reason to be concerned, wait until after they have committed to something, then ask questions about details of their plans.
2. “You could wait ten minutes.”
When someone asks for help or advice and we tell them that they could wait it out and do it later, we are subtly suggesting that their situation isn’t important or urgent enough for us to drop everything and help them out at that moment. It may have seemed like a small thing to us, but that is all they needed.
3. “Don’t worry about it!”
Telling someone to stop worrying about things does not really help them feel better about the situation, especially if it is something that could cause them stress or anxiety. We want people in our life who are considerate and proactive, so rather than telling someone not to worry about something, suggest concrete ways for them to deal with the issues at hand.
4. “That was my fault.”
When we blame ourselves for things that are outside of our control, we take the blame away from others and imply that the responsibility is our own. It can also make us seem ungrateful for what they have done to help us. Rather than taking responsibility, focus on how you were able to recover and make progress as a result of their actions or suggestions
5. “It’s not a big deal if I’m a little late.”
We sometimes say this to people when they seem upset, as if we’re suggesting that whatever problem is bothering them is insignificant. This suggests that we are not concerned enough about the issue and likely don’t really want to go out with them. Rather than saying something like this, try being more supportive of the person’s feelings and offer a way for them to feel better about the situation.
6. “It’s no big deal if I’m a little late….”
When you cut people off or avoid their concern because it is not a big deal, it can make you seem closed-minded or insensitive. This is especially true when you are speaking with someone who is upset or in a difficult situation. Rather than jumping to conclusions about something being not-a-big deal, listen to the person and get their perspective on the issue.
7. “I’m late again!”
When you constantly say or imply that you are always late, it can make us seem unreliable and like we don’t care about the people we are meeting with. When you arrive late, remind yourself that it was a setback and let those around you know what efforts have been made to prevent this from happening again in the future.
8. “I’m so busy!”
When you make a big deal out of being busy and late to get things done, it can make you seem out of control and irresponsible rather than responsible. It is better to make a genuine effort to be more punctual and show that you are invested in completing the tasks at hand.
9. “It’s no big deal if I don’t say anything.”
When people are uncomfortable sharing something they feel is important, we tell them that it doesn’t really matter if they do or don’t, as long as they do what we want them to do. We want people in our lives who are not afraid to speak up in order to help us. Rather than saying something like this, try asking questions and showing your genuine interest in what the person has to say.
10. “I know you’re busy….”
When we constantly offer excuses for why we can’t meet, show up late or stop being involved with a person’s problems, it can make us seem apathetic and uninterested in what is happening. It is better to be honest about how we feel about a situation rather than pretending that our limited time makes things okay.
11. “I have no idea what you mean….”
People often say this when they don’t want to admit that they have made a mistake — we may even say it back to ourselves in order to look smart. This is especially true when it comes to what we are doing wrong with our relationships. Rather than saying this, try asking questions and having an honest conversation with the person so that you can fix the issue.
12. “I just don’t know what you want from me….”
When we avoid conflicts because we want to be seen as agreeable, it can cause us and those around us stress and anxiety as we put off clear conversations about where our relationship stands.
There is nothing wrong with addressing issues head-on, but avoiding them in the first place can cause us to lose good opportunities by depriving us of the work necessary to make things better.