In a 2018 blog post, author Frank Sonnenberg shared 15 phrases that communicate a bad attitude.  Here are a few.  If you catch yourself about to say any of them, stop, take a deep breath and find another way to communicate your message. 

  • “They don’t pay me enough to do this.”
  • “I’ve always done it this way.”
  • “You don’t expect me to do that!”
  • “I hate doing this. Give it to someone else.”
  • “If I look busy, maybe I can get out of the work.”  
  • “Nobody’s here, so we can goof off.”  
  • “Nobody knows what they’re doing around here.”   
  • “I do what I have to – nothing more, nothing less.”  
  • “I’ll do anything to get ahead.”

These phrases may sound like innocent whining. Or you may believe you can get away with talking this way to co-workers you trust.  But you never know what ripple effect negative messages will have. Being labeled as someone with a bad attitude can be like reputation quicksand. 


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