5 Small things Indians could do to sound more ‘sophisticated’

Sophisticated doesn’t always mean ‘Peteru..’ or a ‘show-off’. Sometimes that sophistication can keep you afloat in times of despair. I can give you countless examples of situations, in which, if you act a little more sophisticated, it would raise your standards in the eyes of your colleagues and friends.

I’m using the theme ‘FAVORS’ in this post. Ah, all the funny things we say or do while asking for favors!!

Here are 5 things which I feel are most basic. They are also the easiest to change. Give them a try and let me know how it feels.


This simple exchange is the most common. All of us know in theory that the proper reply to ‘Thank you’ is ‘You’re welcome’. But we never say that, do we?

It’s either a curt ‘Okay’ or a ghastly ‘No problem’. These are the worst possible replies to thank you. Because when you say okay, it’s like insulting that person who took the time to thank you. The second one is even worse, because it implies that whatever you did for that person was an inconvenience for you. No. Just don’t say that. Please.

Next time anybody thanks you, take a pause and reply with

“You’re Welcome”


“Hey, Can I ask you for a favor? Can you please bring your camera tomorrow? And when you are on the way, please pick up my groceries [I’ve attached a list of things I need], then worship my favorite God. Oh and don’t forget to pay my bills. Cya!”


You are asking for a favor man! Be courteous. WAIT for the other person to reply. Don’t just jump into whatever you need without even checking first with that person. What if he or she was unwell ? What if it was their anniversary and you basically just made them your personal assistant on their special day? Awfully insensitive of you, right?

So whenever you want to ask someone for a favor, say,

“Can I ask you for a favor?”



On the other hand, if you are on the receiving side of this favor business, stop saying the classic “Ya…” and “Tell…”

That is so rude. What if the person genuinely wants your help? Be kind in your reply. Don’t use single-worded replies.

Instead, try saying,

“Yes, go ahead”      or

“Sure. What can i do? ”    or better

“Sure. I’d love to help you out” 

If you are unsure of whether you can help that person with whatever they want you to do, just reply with,  “I’d love to help you out in whatever way I can. But I hope you understand that it’s just beyond me, and I might not be of great help to you.”


We have all been there.

Do you have a pen? Do you have headphones? Do you have a pendrive?

The problem with this statement is, the other person might have all of the things. But might not be happy sharing it with you. Or they might not be willing to let you borrow it. By asking them if they have a pen, you are only pushing them into a corner. You’re not giving them an option about what they can do with their belongings.

More often than not, it sounds as if they HAVE to share it with you, just because they have it. And then they end up saying “I’m currently using it” or something along those lines. That’s just a whole lotta awkward for both of you.

You should request in such a way that even if a person is unwilling to share something, he or she should feel compelled to share it with you.

So, to be safe, and also sophisticated, try saying,

Do you have an extra pen that I can borrow?  or 

Can I borrow your pen drive for a while? I’ll return it as soon as I can.

When you say such things, so sweetly, even the toughest people will loan you their stuff. You are giving them assurance about their items. So they will be happy to help you out.

And even if they don’t [their hearts are made of mars stones] no worries. They will have an option to turn down your request. It’s always nice to give people an option.


I think this is a double-edged sword. This phrase can be both polite and incredibly pushy. When used right, it can make the favor you ask, seem less burdensome.

Try saying,

Hey can you please pick this up for me on your way? Thanks in advance! Cya soon.

This is not so pushy. It sounds so friendly and nice that the other person will most likely do it happily.

Hey get this list of things today. TIA

Horrible. Don’t ever do this. Don’t ever push people to do anything that is out of their way. And don’t ever think that just because you say ‘Thanks in advance” that person is going to do it for you.

So that was my 5 things you can do to sound more classy. Give it a try and let me know in the comments how they have helped you.

2 thoughts on “5 Small things Indians could do to sound more ‘sophisticated’

  1. Destination Infinity October 22, 2015 / 4:00 pm

    I feel – intentions, not words, matter in a conversation. What’s the point of sweetest talk if someone is ultimately going to only back stab?


    • Shravanthi Kripa October 22, 2015 / 4:20 pm

      I’m not going into that at all. This post is intended for formal conversations, for people who are unaware of their usages.
      I agree with you, people’s intentions matter, but it is only when we get to know them on an even personal level. My apologies if you’ve had bitter experiences with backstabbers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s