sure to have experienced the type of people who send shudders down your spine
by coming out with blunt remarks such as “Well, if that’s all you’ve managed to
prepare...” or “I expected more from you...” Killer phrases are encountered in
all areas of life. This makes it all the more important to have a quick answer
or clever counter-question ready so you can go back on the offensive as fast as
1. "Why are you asking that
Ask a counter-question in order to confuse your “opponent”. After all, they
will have been expecting you to justify yourself or react in an emotional way.
2. "After that killer phrase, could
we now get back to the issue?"
By responding in this way, you expose your opponent’s intrigues and can return
to the topic in question.
3. "You don’t say!"
You reply with a disyllabic comment, e.g. “come on!” Say this, and nothing
else, even if you have to bite your tongue. With this minimal reply, you can
stop any killer-phrase fan in their tracks.
4. "Thanks for the useful
Simply disregard this attack and do not comment on it in any way.
5. "Thanks for your helpful
With this compliment, you punish your opponent and are likely to make them feel
very uncomfortable. "I like your choice of words" is a slightly
6. "So you see the situation like that
– fair enough, if you say so."
You repeat the content of the killer phrase, though with a similarly ironic
7. "If it helps, then I’d be happy
to agree with you."
You seemingly give in and agree with your opponent – something they would never
have expected. However, you can use this tactic only if it will not be
detrimental to you. For example, it should not be used if your expertise could
be called into question.
8. "A bird in the hand is worth two
in the bush."
Or any other proverb. Your opponent will be so confused that they will spend
days brooding over what your proverb has to do with their attack.
9. "If by that you mean..."
If someone says you are lazy, it all depends on what that individual actually
means by “lazy”. Simply reply by reformulating the statement, e.g. "If by
that you mean that I'm good at delegating, then you’re right!"