There is a story* about a Portuguese explorer who discovered an island in the South Pacific. Warriors from a local tribe greeted his row boat as he approached the shore. Attempting to show them respect, he put his hands in the air, signifying that he meant no harm and carried no weapons. They cut off his arms. Apparently, in their culture, that meant something bad.
And while you’re not a dumb old Portuguese sea captain, you may be insulting people all the time and not know it. In psychology, this is called, “reverse axis signaling”** and it’s when you say something you think is a compliment or simply an innocuous comment, but it's taken as a grave insult.
You may be surprised how many times you do this at work without even realizing it. The Intergalactic Business Report’s new study on reverse axis signaling shows you the 6 most common phrases you use at work every day that are actually condescending insults to your co-workers. Read these and stop saying them today.
1. “Jeff and I were talking the other day about how valuable you are to the company. It was an extremely short conversation.”
2. “I enjoyed your presentation, but I was confused about the part where you were speaking.”
3. “The report you showed me is really great. Did you hire a homeless person to write it for you?”
4. “Those are nice pants. Looks like you have a small penis?”
5. “Someone suggested we get a trained monkey to do your job, and I told them we should never do that because at least with you there’s slightly less monkey shit to clean up.”
6. “Suck my motherfucking dick—I will slap your face.”
*No there isn’t.
*No it isn’t.
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