Probably indicates my age/upbringing, but this catchall phrase is – in many cases – not only inaccurate, but also inconsiderate and annoying.  It’s often delivered when the person has just caused a minor inconvenience to me – and is now informing me that it’s actually “no problem”… to them.

Classic case-in-point:

  • Someone calls me as a wrong number.  I clarify it for them.  They tell me that it’s ‘no problem‘.

A simple ‘thank you’, ‘you’re welcome’, or ‘sorry to bother you’ probably would’ve sufficed to deal with most of these minor social glitches – but now this person has refocused the situation to remind me that my role is purely incidental and …

implies that I’ve actually created a problem … for them.


But then again – It’s all about THEM.

Yeah, yeah. “It’s just a figure of speech”.  But it’s also a pervasive form of casual, self-centered indifferencethat undermines our underlying social contract.  In an increasingly crowded, complex world – That ain’t a good thing.

Further reading:

Aaron James’ NY Times Bestseller Assholes: A Theory.  We may want to revisit the use of the term “unintentionally rude”…

© The Communication Studio LLC