I’m working on the next book (more on that soon) – One part of the book is looking at popular platitudes, the annoying ones people say, and tearing them apart.

To help me out, I need a list. What are the most annoying, stupid, untrue, or patronizing platitudes?

Here’s a short list to get you started:

  • There’s no I in Team
  • Good things come to those who wait
  • It was meant to be
  • Time heals all wounds

What comes to mind? Leave a comment (100+ already have below). Thanks.

  • This site is powered with the magic of space age email to send my best posts to you each month. No hassle, no spam, no fuss. (privacy policy enforced by my Rotweiller)

You Will Like These:

242 Responses to “What are the most annoying platitudes?”

  1. Allan |

    “You reap what you sow” . . no you don’t, it’s all random, how many times have we actually seen bad people succeed, or good people who are kind and generous have terrible things happen to them?
    “What goes around comes around.” Um, no it doesn’t, and if it does it’s strictly by chance…. see my previous comment.
    Actually, although it’s probably a ‘platitude’ and some may find it annoying, I have learned that what IS often true is that no good deed goes unpunished…. over and over I have been helpful & kind to people who in the end abandoned me when I needed help.

    Reply
    • Michelle |

      “You made this bed now you have to sleep in it.”

      That may be a bit off- Either way its banal and I wish to never hear it again.

      Reply
    • Craig |

      Sounds like you ought to grow a spinal column and see people’s motives for what they are. The only time you can rely on people to help is when they’re going long on some kind of payoff. The only people who do things out of the “goodness of their hearts” are people with Downs Syndrome.

      Reply
  2. Suz |

    It’s “fill in blank …eg. life , singing , spiritualism etc. a journey not a destination – ph blaaaah !

    Reply
  3. Gabrielle Harlan |

    Live and learn.

    Follow your bliss.

    Reply
  4. Scott |

    Perception is reality

    Reply
  5. Therion |

    Jesus loves you

    Reply
    • Bren |

      That’s NOT a platitude (annoying, or overused) – It’s TRUE
      and yes, he does LOVE you!

      Reply
      • Joan |

        That’s your belief. Note the word “belief”.

        Personally I consider it a platitude as well, and an -extremely- aggravating one at that.

        Reply
      • Craig |

        Oh do f*ck off.

        Reply
    • Nathaniel |

      This is NOT a platitude. There is a God, Jesus Christ, and he does love you. He died for you, so that when we die on this earth, we will go to heaven with him. All you need to do, is believe this. Why not talk to a preacher or a christian. What do you have to lose?

      Reply
      • Scott |

        Nathaniel: You may notice of the 200+ comments people left you are the only one arguing about what is or isn’t a platitude. Therion thinks it is one, you think it isn’t. I got it. Both of your opinions have been heard. Can you move on please? Thank you.

        Reply
      • Vicki Tait |

        I would agree with you Nathaniel. The statement “Jesus loves you” is a fact. It is not a platitude. Jesus died upon the cross to save you and me. He took our sins past and future with him.

        Reply
        • Laura kemp |

          How is this a fact? Because it’s written in a book? So is goldilocks and the 3 bears but that doesn’t make it fact. I agree pointless and annoying platitude along with “god works in mysterious ways” and “he/she is in a better place now”

          Reply
          • Vicki Tait |

            Well Laura, I don’t know what to tell you about your unbelief except that I do not argue scripture and I totally believe that everything in the word of God is given by inspiration of God. Actually I didn’t even bring up about a “book” but just to let you know “Jesus loves you” and that is a fact. If you choose not to believe that is your prerogative.

        • James |

          Religion doesn’t do facts. It is a work of fiction that is particularly attractive to those lacking in critical thinking.

          As for platitudes – “First things first” has got to be up there.

          Reply
          • Vicki Tait |

            I am sorry for your shallow thinking. Maybe one day you will understand. But not until you get over yourself.

  6. DeeJayGee |

    It’s God will…….

    Reply
    • DeeJayGee |

      Sorry, meant to say

      It’s God’s will

      Reply
  7. Bradley Myers |

    “Everything happens for a reason”

    Reply
  8. Jim |

    Dating site platitudes:

    watching a good movie/dvd
    love good wine
    looking for that special someone
    must have that cup of coffee
    walking on the beach

    Reply
  9. Peter |

    Buy Low ! Sell High !

    Reply
  10. becky |

    a platitude that really annoys me is “bloom where you’re planted” Offhand, it is so cheery and optimistic but has aggressive undertones, demanding that you be happy where ever you are. That comment, made to me, has stuck with me for years, annoying me. Moving to a new place because something about where you happen to be isn’t working seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, rather than trying to fit a round peg in a square hole (another platitude!)

    Reply
  11. mark |

    He who wants others to write their book deserve nothing

    Reply
    • was |

      *He who wants others to write his book deserves nothing.

      –although it might be more idiomatic to include errors in a platitude.

      compare ‘If he or she desires that others write his or her story, then he or she is passive, andj passive people deserve nothing.’ with ‘them who depend on the earth can’t rely on it.’.

      Reply
  12. Daniela |

    “Have a nice day.”

    Reply
  13. poppy dunlap |

    “It’s never as bad as you think.”

    I am going through a really tough break-up right now and I have friend who offers up support like this.
    What do I say to her?

    Reply
    • Mary |

      Thanks, but it is that bad,

      Reply
  14. Spiro |

    The lord works in mysterious ways.

    Reply
  15. Mary |

    This is a learning experience, said when bad things happen.

    Reply
    • Vicki Tait |

      Life IS a learning experience. If not, then how do we grow? How do we learn? Our failures and accomplishments are all a part of who we are today. There is none perfect but the Lord. We are given a choice and there is always I feel room for improvement. I love learning. Life is truly a learning experience!

      Reply
  16. Mary |

    You’re where you’re supposed to be, another annoying platitude when people don’t want to deal with you.

    Reply
  17. Scott |

    More here:

    there are two sides to every story
    just give it time, karma will balance things
    just ignore him and he will stop
    you just need to communicate clearly
    just ignore him and he will go away
    It takes two to argue
    turn the other cheek
    you’re just too sensitive
    trust in god, he’s got a plan

    Reply
  18. treeboy |

    “Looks don’t count”

    Really? They count for a tremendous amount… I don’t see too many ugly guys with good looking guys.

    “Money can’t buy happiness”

    Money buys EVERYTHING… Including love, peace of mine and in many cases, even health…

    “Everyone has one unit of worth”

    No they don’t… There will always be losers and there will always be winners…

    Reply
  19. RevEd666 |

    “It is what it is.” How useless.

    Reply
  20. Laura kemp |

    These things are sent to test us

    Reply
  21. Lacey |

    When someone says “Your time will come!” when someone they know mentions how they lost out on that job or role that they worked hard to prepare for.

    Reply
  22. KIM FLAHERTY |

    It could be worse
    At least you’re not dead
    God doesn’t give you more than you can handle

    Reply
  23. Vicki Tait |

    Yes Kim you are correct in saying that “God doesn’t give you more than you can handles” is a platitude. That is not biblical. I Corinthians 10:13 states “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” This has everything to do with temptation and not with what you can handle.

    Reply
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scott Berkun, Cornelius Fichtner. Cornelius Fichtner said: Scott Berkun says: What are the most annoying platitudes? #PMOT http://dld.bz/J9bK [...]

  2. [...] Posting overused and tiresome platitudes (your own or those of others) is another sure-fire cure for the successful online presence. For some great examples of these, go here. [...]

  3. [...] Comments for Scott Berkun Tags: books, children, ebooks, kids, publish your ebook, self publish Posted in How to write a book [...]

  4. [...] Comments for Scott Berkun Tags: books, children, ebooks, kids, publish your ebook, self publish Posted in How to write a book [...]

  5. [...] Comments for Scott Berkun Tags: books, children, ebooks, kids, publish your ebook, self publish Posted in How to write a book [...]

  6. [...] From the article: What Are the Most Annoying Platitudes? by Scott Berkun [...]

  7. […] From the article: What Are the Most Annoying Platitudes? by Scott Berkun […]

Leave a Reply