12 Popular Phrases That Are Actually Wrong

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Common sayings usually start from a place of truth and common sense. When used repeatedly, they start becoming cliche and misunderstood with time. They also aren’t always beacons of truth and wisdom. We hear “money can’t buy happiness”  and “everything happens for a reason” all the time, but how true are they?

“Good Things Come to Those Who Wait”

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Most people mean that “there can be value in patience” when saying this. However, some interpret it as a free pass to “sit around and do nothing.”  If you want something, “you need to be proactive to get what you want.”

“Ignore Them, and They Will Leave You Alone”

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If only this line worked and kept bullies at bay once you ignored them. Instead, “they’ll try harder until they use physical force.” Another adds, “Ignoring the monsters doesn’t make them go away. It makes them escalate.  

“Everything Happens for A Reason”

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Not everything happens for a reason. “I got a lot of this when my husband passed away unexpectedly. Do you really think it will bring comfort to a 38-year-old window with 2 little boys under 20 who just lost their father?” wonders a widow.  

Some people also cringe when the saying, “It’s all according to God’s plan,” is used to cover up terrible things. 

“You Won’t Have a Calculator in Real Life”

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Growing up, parents and teachers taught us the importance of mastering basic math because “you won’t have a calculator in real life.” Fast-forward to 20 years, calculators are everywhere, thanks to smartphones.  

“What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”

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This is one of the most overused motivational sayings, but it’s a matter of context and degree. 

“Most minor hardships and setbacks have the potential for you to come out of them having learned lessons and becoming emotionally and mentally stronger. With large hardships and catastrophes, you’re more likely to come out of that with trauma and permanent injuries,” a user explains.  

“The Customer Is Always Right”

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This saying was originally, “The customer is always right in matters of taste.” However, it blew out of proportion that whatever a customer says is right, which we all know by now isn’t always the case. 

“You Can Be Whatever You Want to Be When You Grow Up”

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“The playing field isn’t fair,” a user points out. Another confesses, “As a little kid, I wanted to be an Air Force fighter pilot. With -2.25/-1.75 vision, I wouldn’t even be allowed to be a commercial pilot.”

“It’s Just One Bad Apple”

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“The actual quote is ‘One bad apple spoils the bunch,'” corrects a commentator. And it’s irritating that most people see nothing wrong with this corrupt saying. 

“Blood Is Thicker Than Water”

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This overused saying has inflicted pain, abuse, and trauma on many. “Sometimes your family is annoying and doesn’t deserve your loyalty because you share DNA,” says a poster. Another manipulative saying is, “We’re family.”

“Money Can’t Buy Happiness”

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“It’s not like poverty buys happiness either,” mentions a user. Besides, even if “money can’t buy happiness, it can certainly make stressful and annoying things disappear.”

One user says, “My rebuttal is that money can’t buy happiness but does buy peace of mind. And it’s much easier to be happy when you have that.”

“If You Can’t Handle My Worst, You Don’t Deserve My Best”

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“On the face of it, it’s an innocuous statement about knowing your self-worth and choosing to form a support system with people who will stick by you as you go through life trials,” explains a poster, “But the problem is that it’s been weaponized as a statement to justify truly toxic, inexcusable behavior in a disingenuous way.”

“Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry”

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This is a lie. When you love someone, you value their feelings. So, “if you do something wrong, you acknowledge it, apologize for it, and try to make it right.”


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