Stop Being a Jerk: 11 Phrases to Help Someone Change Their Behavior

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You don’t have to resort to violence if someone is rude to you or overstepping your boundaries. You can stop them from their tracks by saying these 11 phrases. 

“Is Everything Alright?”

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Asking this question is “like a Jedi mind trick.” You can also add, “Is something bothering you?” and “I’m here for you if you need someone to talk to.”

“Take About 10% Off the Top There”

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This is a Letterkenny reference, and many online users love using it. You can also say, “Take it down a notch.”

“Someone’s Baking up a Batch of Frownies”

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“That would make me crack up or push me off the ledge. Totally going to use it,” says a user after reading this phrase.

“I laughed. Then I thought how grumpy this would make my already grumpy child and laughed some more,” writes a parent. 

We’ll Be Best Friends if You Never Say That Again”

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A commentator narrates, “I was with a few people in a small group, including a very wealthy businessman. One of the guys made a pretty rude comment about a woman who walked by. The businessman put his hand on the guy’s shoulder and said calmly, ‘We’ll be best friends if you never say that again.’ It was so polite but so powerful.”

“Start Over”

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“Start over must be delivered deadpan, or it’s not as effective,” recommends a poster who often uses this line. 

“I Don’t Think That’s Very Kind”

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This line effectively straightens kids “unaware of their jerkiness.”

“That’s Just Like Your Opinion Man”

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Using this phrase calmly can help reduce the aggression in the person acting like a jerk. “It’s not the most effective, but I live by this one,” states a commentator. 

“Bless Your Heart”

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Depending on the context, this can be an endearing or an insulting phrase. An older woman adds, “When an older woman from the south looks at you and goes ‘Bless your little heart,’ you know you just messed up.”

“You Want to Try That Again”

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“It gives people a window to take another swing without abandoning whatever has them so riled up,” says a poster. Other effective phrases are, “You might want to walk some of that back,” and “That didn’t come out the way you hoped.”

“You Put That Attitude Back in the Toilet Where You Found It”

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This is a hilarious but effective phrase to tell someone to stop acting like a jerk. It even works on kids.

One user says, “My ex’s mom used to say to him (when he was a little kid), ‘Go flush that attitude,’ and then have him walk into the bathroom and flush the toilet. I always thought it was a brilliant tactic to step away from the tension of the situation to allow him to take a breath. We actually ended up using it in our relationship.”

“Eat a Snickers”

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“My dad’s a pretty grumpy old man, and my mom and sisters will say this to him if he’s being cranky at nothing. He always stops and laughs at it,” admits a user. A husband adds, “My wife carries a Snickers bar with her when our older daughter acts like a child. It works 90% of the time.”

A different phrase to try is, “You’re not you when hungry.”

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