Red Flag Phrases

There are certain phrases that, if you listen closely enough, you’ll hear all the time.  I call these ‘Red Flag Phrases’ because they always indicate something they intend not to.

For example, when a woman declares ‘But I’m a good mother‘ you can be pretty certain that she isn’t and that she is neglecting or abusing or simply ignoring her children and lives a life curved in on herself.  Why?  Because good mothers, authentically good mothers who put their children first, don’t have to say they are good mothers- they show it in everything that they do.  ‘I’m a good mother’ is the declaratory expostulation of a woman who isn’t and she knows it, so she has to try to convince herself, and her hearer, of the contrary.

The second phrase that sets off alarms is ‘don’t judge me‘ or its kindred ‘you can’t judge me‘.  This phrase is fascinating it that it shows that the person uttering it is actually afraid to have their life examined.  Shame, regret, knowledge of wrongdoing all go hand in hand with this phrase.  The person who has done no wrong fears no examination.  The person who has done wrong, and knows it, dreads being examined because then one and all will know that the scoundrel lying in their heart will be on display for all to see.

Red flag phrases- when you hear them, watch out.  The person uttering them has something to hide and will do their best to misdirect your attention so you don’t catch on, and catch them lying.

6 thoughts on “Red Flag Phrases

  1. Christian 26 Apr 2011 at 10:17 am

    Or my personal favorite: “I’m not racist, I have ______ friends!”


    • Jim 26 Apr 2011 at 10:30 am

      right- that’s a good one too!


  2. Ben B 26 Apr 2011 at 10:43 am

    I once heard: “I’m not racist, but Indians (Native Americans) can’t tell time well.”


    • Jim 26 Apr 2011 at 11:00 am

      it’s the ‘but’ that gives them away


  3. Chuck Grantham 26 Apr 2011 at 10:44 am

    He who protests loudest usually has something to hide.

    Oh yeah. See that all the time with the public.


  4. bobcargill 26 Apr 2011 at 11:12 am

    i always like: ‘he disrespected me’ or ‘i’m out to get respect.’ huge red flags.


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