What to say when someone is being inappropriate at work.

Speaking up when you feel uncomfortable or when someone is being inappropriate can be difficult. One way to find your voice and speak up is to choose a phrase that you can use whenever someone is inappropriate, disrespectful, or harassing.

Your phrase should be a quick 1 - 5-word sentence that can be used in various situations. It's an easy way for you to respond quickly and efficiently.

Think of your phrase as your harassment prevention mantra, it stays the same and is always there for you when you need it most.

Here are a few examples of what others have used as their harassment prevention mantra. We hope this list inspires you to speak up, define the line, and create change.

Harassment Prevention Mantras:

That's inappropriate.

Not funny.


C'mon man.

I'd rather not hear that.

Mmmmm not cool.

Excuse me?


What did you just say?

Please stop.

When you do or say _______ it makes me uncomfortable because of _____________.

I didn't get the joke - can you explain it to me?

Weeeellllll that's definitely not appropriate.


Ummm, no, just no.

Are you for real?

That was disrespectful.

You did not just say that.

Have a phrase that's not included on this list but should be? We'd love to know in the comments below!


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