The phrases “no worries” and “no problem” have increasingly crept into common parlance around the world, both in personal and professional settings. For some, these words have almost become a substitute for “You’re welcome” and sometimes for “I’m sorry.
This expression is used by younger generations in place of the perfectly serviceable phrase “You’re welcome. No worries” has now been included in an annual list of idioms that scientists believe should be banned because they are “ineffective, confusing or irritating.”
They took particular aim at the Australian idiom made popular by the 1986 movie Crocodile Dundee.
Although scientists called the phrase “meaningless,” it is now used so frequently that Google’s predictive text feature even suggests users write it in emails.
How do you politely say “no worries”?
“Don’t worry” or “No problem” is a casual phrase that works best with people you know well. Don’t try to use this casual way of speaking with people you don’t know, and certainly not if you are trying to appear professional on any level. Sorry, “no problem.” I’m sorry, “no worries.”
Is it okay to say “no worries”?
” no worry ” is not an idiom used in English; the closest idiom that is not idiomatic may be “don’t worry”. But “no worries” is a popular idiom that means “no worry” or “it’s okay” when used in response to “I’m sorry” or “I apologize”.
How do you say “no worries” professionally?
Instead of saying “no problem” or “no worries,” try saying “gladly” or “certainly.” If you use “No worries” or “No problem” as I do, the phrase can have the opposite effect. If you say that you are not worried or have no problem, the recipient may hear that there is actually a problem that they are worried about.
What may seem casual and perfectly acceptable is poor etiquette and leads to a flaw in our interactions. Here’s why:
It disregards the other person’s appreciation.
When someone expresses gratitude, it is polite and appropriate to return it appropriately. A better response would be, “You’re welcome,” “It was my pleasure,” “I’m so glad I could help,” or “I really enjoyed participating in this event.” Each of these phrases shows the other party that your actions represent a conscious decision to help or socialize. Going to a party, picking someone up at the airport, giving a gift – all require a “thank you.” Conversely, saying, “You’re welcome,” doesn’t feel like a person’s thanks are being rejected.
It doesn’t recognize the value of an apology.
Apologizing for a misstep or wrong behavior can be agonizing. It takes courage and humility to recognize and admit a mistake in judgment or behavior. It is impolite for the recipient of an apology to reject it or to refuse the request for forgiveness. One might think that a casual “don’t worry” might assuage the guilt of the person who misbehaved. Perhaps, and it would be acceptable if used in an informal instance, such as sitting in someone’s chair or inadvertently interrupting someone in a friendly conversation. However, if someone has made a major mistake or hurt feelings, the correct response should be, “Thank you for your apology. I hear you and appreciate your efforts to make things right.
When an apology is accepted and forgiveness is granted, it provides an opportunity to look forward and discuss how to handle future interactions in a healthier way. For example, respond to a sincere apology when an employee has missed a deadline with, “I appreciate your concern. Let’s talk about your workload and see if there are areas we can adjust so you don’t miss the next deadline.”
It takes away your opportunity to share more.
If you answer too informally, you won’t have a chance to share more of yourself and your feelings. When someone expresses their joy over a gift, you should know the difference between a response like “No problem” and “I’m so glad you like it!”. I thought about what you would like and spent the afternoon looking for something special at your favorite store.” Unlike the first comment, the second response conveys thoughtfulness and genuine joy.
Sometimes phrases are adopted into common usage and used unconsciously without thinking about it. Words are powerful and should be carefully considered before using them. When you accept a compliment or thank you, it is a way of acknowledging the other person’s actions or efforts. Consider your words carefully because they will have a far-reaching effect.
Find out if it is okay to be with someone you cannot trust, here.