No offense but . . .


Art by Mary DeWinkeleer

So you want to tell your friend that her shirt really doesn’t match her pants. Good news! There are lots of cool phrases you can use, so that you can deliver your blow in a respectful and kind way.


No offense, but . . .

‘No offense’ is a phrase that can be used when you do mean offense, but don’t want to say it straight out.

Ex: “No offense, but you look like you got dressed in the dark.”


Respectfully . . .

‘Respectfully’ is versatile because it can be used in a work setting as well as every day. When you want to critique someone who has power over you, like a boss or a teacher,  establishing that you respect them can distract from the rest of the sentence.

Ex: “Respectfully, this proposal makes zero sense.”


Not to be rude . . .

‘Not to be rude’ can only be followed by something so undeniably rude, you would never say it. That’s why this phrase can help! Saying ‘not to be rude’ gives the illusion that you’re not trying to be mean, even though you are.

Ex: “Not to be rude, but your breath smells awful.”


Don’t take this the wrong way . . .

‘Don’t take this the wrong way’ is awesome for when there’s a blaring part of your brain that is telling you you probably shouldn’t be saying this out loud. In other words, it will; definitely be taken the wrong way.

Ex: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t really like your personality.”


Not to be that person . . .

‘Not to be that person’ is a good phrase to use when you want to deliver a gentle and universal blow. It can be used in any situation where you might also shrug and say “What? Everyone’s thinking it.”

Ex: “Not to be that person, but this movie sucks.”


With all of these new and exciting phrases, you can make sure you go through your days in a respectful manner, while also speaking your mind of course.