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Reload this page Being Tactful

This page lists hilariously useful ways to better understand (and enjoy) people.

Scripture “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city...” —Proverbs 18:19

“If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.”
“It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.”—Anonymous


Topics this page:

  • Adjectives
  • Judgement of Others
  • Patterns of Thought
  • Opposites Attract?
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Politically Correct
  • Performance Evaluations


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    Set screen Adjectives To Describe People

      Here are adjectives used to describe generally desirable personality traits: Circle the words which best describe you.

        accurate, achievement-oriented, active, adaptable, adept, adventuresome, affectionate, aggressive, alert, ambitious, appreciative, articulate, assertive, astute, attractive, authoritative, average, beautiful, brave, calm, caring, cautious, charismatic, charming, cheerful, competent, competitive, comfortable, communicative, compassionate, confident, considerate, consistent, conscientious, cooperative, courageous, crazy, creative, decisive, dedicated, dependable, desirable, detail-oriented, devoted, diligent, diplomatic, discreet, down-to-earth, dynamic, economical, effective, energetic, enthusiastic, encouraging, exceptional, exhaustive, experienced, faithful, fashionable, feminine, firm, flexible, friendly, fun-loving, fun to be with, funny, generous, gentle, giving, gracious, guarded, honest , humane, humorous, independent, innovative, intelligent, intellectual, jovial, kind, knowledgeable, lively, loving, loyal, manly, methodical, mysterious, neat, nice, nurturing, objective, open, open-minded, optimistic, organized, outgoing, outstanding, passionate, patient, penetrating, perceptive, persevering, persistent, philosophical, pioneering, practical, private, professional, protective, punctual, quick, quiet, rational, realistic, reliable, righteous, resourceful, religious, responsible, responsive, romantic, self-reliant, sensible, sensitive, sensual, serious, shy, sincere, sociable, sophisticated, spiritual, strong, systematic, sociable, spontaneous, supportive, sweet, tactful, temperamental, tender-hearted, thorough, trusting, trustworthy, tireless, unique, unpretentious, unusual, versatile, vigorous, vivacious, warm, well-traveled, wise, witty, youthful.

        See also Information to know about each other and the

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    Set screen How We Judge Others

    • When enemies take a long time they're slow.
      When friends take a long time they're thorough.
    • When enemies don't do it they're lazy.
      When friends don't do it they're too busy.
    • When enemies make a mistake, they're idiots.
      When friends make a mistake they're only human.
    • When enemies do something without being told they're overstepping their authority.
      When friends do the same thing that's initiative.
    • When enemies take a stand, they're being bullheaded.
      When friends do it they're being firm.
    • When enemies overlook the rule of etiquette they're being rude.
      When friends skip rules they're being original.
    • When enemies please friends they're obsequeous.
      When friends please their boss they're being co-operative.
    • When enemies get ahead because they got some breaks.
      When friends get ahead that's because they're so clever.
    • When enemies are out of the office they're wandering around.
      When friends are out of the office they're on business.
    • When enemies have one too many drinks at a social they're drunken bums.
      When friends have the same they're being social.
    • When enemies look at a man/woman with interest they're sex maniacs.
      When friends do the same they appreciate beauty.
    • When enemies take days off sick they're always sick.
      When friends are a day off sick they should take time to rest.
    • When enemies apply for a leave they don't need it because they never do any work.
      When friends apply for a leave they deserve the break because they're so overworked!


      “Have you ever noticed.... Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” —George Carlin

      You BITCH --
      Talented, and
      Human being!

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    Set screen Opposites Attract?

      People who are comfortable with one side may view people on the other side with disdain.

    introverted, shy extroverted, outgoing
    calm concerned
    quiet talkative
    optimistic pessimistic
    spontaneous methodical
    trusting careful
    simple complex
    neat, tidy, organized free

      I think that it is more productive to help people find the best roles most appropriate for their natural gifts.

      The task of innovation is finding ways to achieve a balance between extremes.


    “The pessimist complains about the wind,
    the optimist expects the wind,
    the realist adjusts the sails.”
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    Set screen Patterns of Thought

      Various Psychologists have proposed groupings of traits. One example is the Left Brain/Right Brain dicodomy:

    Left Brain

    Right Brain

    Linear Creative
    Mathematical Artistic
    Technical Spatial
    Organizational Visual Images
    Logical Holistic
    Analytical Futuristic
    Sequential Synthesizer
    The Editor The Creator
    What does your Dictionary say these words mean?

      This book contains much that is good and new;
      it's a pity that the good is not new,
      and the new is not good.
      — Lessing

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    Set screen Letters Of Recommendation

      For the chronically absent: "A man like him is hard to find."
      "It seemed her career was just taking off."
      For the office drunk: "I feel his real talent is wasted here."
      "We generally found him loaded with work to do."
      "Every hour with him was a happy hour."
      For an employee with no ambition: "He could not care less about the number of hours he had to put in."
      "You would indeed be fortunate to get this person to work for you."
      For an employee who is so unproductive that the job is better left unfilled: "I can assure you that no person would be better for the job."
      For an employee who is not worth further consideration as a job candidate: "I would urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment."
      "All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly."
      For a stupid employee: "There is nothing you can teach a man like him."
      "I most enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever."
      For a dishonest employee: "Her true ability was deceiving."
      "He's an unbelievable worker."
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    Set screen Evaluations And What They May Mean

      Average   Not too bright
      Slightly below average   Stupid
      Exceptionally well qualified   Has committed no major blunders to date
      Active socially   Always on a break
      Zealous attitude   Opinionated
      Character above reproach   Still one step ahead of the law
      Unlimited potential   Will stick with us until retirement
      Quick thinking   Offers plausible excuses for errors
      Takes pride in work   Conceited
      Takes advantage of every opportunity to progress   Buys drinks for superiors
      Knows more than superiors   Indifferent to Instruction
      Stern disciplinarian   A real jerk
      Tactful in dealing with superiors   Knows when to keep mouth shut
      Approaches difficult problems with logic   Finds someone else to do the job
      A keen analyst   Thoroughly confused
      Not a desk person   Can't read. Did not go to college
      Expresses self well   Can string two sentences together
      Spends extra hours on the job   Miserable home life
      Conscientious and careful   Scared
      Meticulous in attention to detail   A nitpicker
      Demonstrates qualities of leadership   Has a loud voice
      Maintains a professional attitude   A snob
      Keen sense of humour   Tells lots of dirty jokes
      Strong adherence to principles   Stubborn
      Gets along well with superiors and subordinates alike   A coward
      Of great value to the organisation   Turns in work on time
      Is unusually loyal   Wanted by no one else
      Alert to company developments   An office gossip
      Requires work-value attitudinal readjustment   Lazy and hard-headed
      Hard worker   Usually does things the hard way
      Enjoys job   Needs more to do
      Happy   Is being paid too much
      Well organised   Does too much busywork
      Consults with supervisor often   Pain in the ass
      Will go far   Related to company management
      Uses time effectively   Clock watcher
      Very creative   Finds 22 reasons to do anything except original work
      Uses resources well   Delegates everything
      Deserves promotion   Create new title to make employee feel appreciated

    “Measure your growth in grace by your sensitiveness to sin.”
    —Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), author of My Utmost for His Highest

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    Set screen 101 Ways to Say No

      1. Do not disturb
      2. No hable ingles
      3. Sure, for a million bucks
      4. Ask me again later when I might care
      5. Sorry, my grandma's sick
      6. I want to be alone
      7. Warning: they call me the Rejectionator
      8. Can you tell me the opposite of “yes”?
      9. La, la, la, la, la, I can't hear you!
      10. Can I put you on hold indefinitely?
      11. Dr. Hell-no, at your service
      12. Okay, bye-bye now
      13. Not in this lifetime
      14. DREAM ON
      15. First bring me the broom of the Wicked Witch of the East
      16. You must be joking
      17. The Magic 8-Ball says: “It appears not to be so”
      18. Take a hike
      19. Go away!
      20. You're kidding, right?
      21. Easy come, easy go
      22. Remember, rejection builds character
      23. I'd love to if I had time
      24. Give it up
      25. Hasta la vista, baby
      26. No way Jose
      27. So sorry you have to go now
      28. Maybe
      29. Oops, there's my beeper
      30. My calendar is totally full
      31. Sayonara
      32. I'm moving out of the country
      33. If only I could
      34. You're kidding, right?
      35. Read my lips: NO
      36. Have your people call my people
      37. NOT NOW...NOT EVER
      38. When pigs fly
      39. Go ask your mother
      40. This hurts me more than it hurts you
      41. Stay out, this room has the plague!
      42. What part of "no" don't you understand?
      43. Come on, get real
      44. This is not up for discussion
      45. Get out before I call my lawyer
      46. Out to lunch
      47. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
      48. Uh-uh
      49. Well now, that's just crazy
      50. Here's your hat, what's your hurry?
      51. Sorry, I'm busy playing computer games
      52. Let it go. Just let it go
      53. You want it WHEN?
      54. No-siree-Bob!
      55. You can't be serious
      56. Feel the No. Become the No
      57. Don't make me get a restraining order
      58. I need to warn you: I'm in a rotten mood
      59. When hell freezes over
      60. Silly me, I've forgotten how to say yes!
      61. Would that I could but I can't
      62. Sorry, gotta wash my hair tonight
      63. I gave at the office
      64. I'm all tapped out
      65. I DON'T THINK SO!
      66. Listen, we all want things we can't have
      67. Earthquake!!!
      68. As if!
      69. Out of the question
      70. Let me sleep on it
      71. Hello, police?
      72. I'm thinking of a word...starts with “n”, ends with “o”
      73. Hold on while I make up an excuse
      74. Don't get your hopes up
      75. For subtle rejection, press 1. For complete humiliation, press 2
      76. I can answer that in two letters!
      77. Go ask your father
      78. EXCUSE ME?!
      79. I was just on my way out the door
      80. This town ain't big enough for the both of us
      81. Naaaahhh
      82. I'm afraid not
      83. You've got some nerve
      84. I don't believe in the “Y” word
      85. Ha! Ha! Good one!
      86. I admire a person that can make up their own mind
      87. Please take a number, fill out these forms, and have a seat
      88. You only hurt the ones you love
      89. Na, na, na, na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye
      90. Adios, amigo
      91. YES...NOT!
      92. Your request has been denied
      93. Off with your head!
      94. How do I reject thee? Let me count the ways...
      95. Hey, life isn't fair
      96. Sorry, I only answer to a higher authority
      97. Negative, like a roll of film
      98. You should be thankful for what you have
      99. Your ludicrous request leaves me baffled
      100. Maybe congress can draft a new amendment just for you


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    Set screen Politically Correct

      Here are more softer, gentler, diplomatic ways to handle issues.

      Strategy Instead of ... Say this
      Generalize. “If you can't be kind, at least be vague.” —Judith Martin My manager Sandy decided Management thought it best.
      Avoid challenges Why are we not looking at that? Let's look at that
      Focus on what's right, not what's wrong This is bad. Let's look at that
      Take responsibility for others understanding you Did you get what I'm saying? Would you like me to try a different way?


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