10 Bad Words That Make Other People Feel Inferior

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

All of us are well aware of the power of words. Indeed, a few words of motivation have the power to uplift our zeal. At times when we are feeling low, if somebody tells us those words, we feel a rejuvenated zeal and that is what drives us to work harder and achieve all that we had always wanted. Similarly, negative words when spoken have the capacity to bring down a person's morale. This immense power of words seems to hold true irrespective of the language we are communicating in.


Now, it has been seen that most of the times when such words are spoken, they are not done with the intention of hurting others. However, the manner in which they are spoken ensures that the other person feels belittled by it.

10 Words That Make Other Feel Inferior

In order to ensure that such a thing does not happen to us, we must make conscious efforts to avoid the usage of certain words and phrases in our colloquial and written English. Read on to learn about 10 such very commonly used bad words.

1. Can't

Irrespective of the position you are in or the designation that you hold, you are not in a position to judge the ability of any other person. Hence, you should never use the word can't. It is often seen that if a person is told that they cannot do a particular thing, they tend to believe it.

This often keeps them away from trying it out on their own. Indeed such a thing is bad for their personal growth.

2. Dumb

If a person is not smart enough in a particular attribute, it does not mean that they are any lesser than you. There might be other areas where the said person performs better than you. Hence, make sure that you do not use this word on anyone irrespective of what you think about their intellectual abilities.

3. Irresponsible

This is indeed one of the worst things that you can say to a person. Responsibility is a feeling that must be inculcated in an individual. If you feel that the other person is being irresponsible, try to inculcate the feeling of responsibility in them rather than blaming them and calling them irresponsible. Doing so will not benefit you in any way.

4. Fool

Research has shown that being called a fool brings down a person's interest in performing better. They then tend to settle down for whatever they are. This not just brings down their productivity but may also lead them to conditions like lack of self-belief and depression.

5. Weird

Calling a person weird is an assertion that you are the normal one and they are not. For people who value your opinion greatly, such a thing will make them feel low about themselves. Hence, it is important that you make conscious efforts to omit this particular word from your vocabulary.

6. No

We understand that it may not always be possible for you to respond to everything with a yes. So try to not be blunt and explain why you are choosing to take up the negative path instead of being blunt yourself. Being told a direct no has a negative impact on the other person and will make them feel upset about the entire situation.

7. Failure

We realise that all the contexts in which the word failure is used are not always negative. However, there is a certain degree of a negative vibe associated with this word itself. That is why it is advisable that you make conscious efforts to replace sentences containing the word failure with that of success. An example in this regard will be, "This mission has no option for failure," being replaced with, "The only option for this mission is that of success."

8. Bad

This is the most inaccurate word that you can use to describe a person's thoughts, words or actions. We understand that everything about the other person may not seem positive to you. However, there is a host of other negative words that can be used to describe the situation without making the other person feel unhappy about it.

The word bad is not just unspecific in nature, but it is also demeaning to the person and is enough to bring down their confidence levels.

9. Incompetent

This word is used more commonly in the job scene. By calling someone incompetent, you are telling them that they are incapable of doing this job. While it is okay to tell a person that they have not met your expectations or that they should try harder, nothing gives you the right to tell a person that they are incompetent at a job. With due practise and effort, anyone can become proficient in any particular action or task.

10. Ashamed

When you say that you are ashamed of someone (particularly if you are the other person's supervisor, parent or guardian), it means that they owed you a certain degree of alliance and that they had let you down.

Indeed, there is no feeling that is worse than knowing that you have let someone down. Thus, even if you feel ashamed of a particular team member of yours, make sure that you sugarcoat your words and do not directly say that you are ashamed of them.

Now that you know the ill effects of using these 10 words and the damage that they can cause to the other person, we are sure that you will try to avoid using them. By doing so, you are not only doing a favour to the other person, but you are also proving yourself to be a much better human being.

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