As a woman with many male friends, I’ve noticed that there are certain phrases that can quickly stress a man out. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most recurring ones.

“I missed my period” 

This can literally give every single man a heart attack. Once they hear this, they begin to hyperventilate and ask a thousand questions in one second. “What do you mean you missed your period?” “When last did you see it?” “Are you sure it’s not stress?” The one thing they won’t mention is pregnancy even though that’s exactly what they’re thinking. Because they can’t begin to consider that thought in a country where abortion is illegal and the economy is in the dustbin.

“My office bestie Femi is so stupid. Hahaha Let me tell you what he said…”

Once men hear that their partners have male office besties, they believe it’s all over. It’s as if you’ve told them you have another partner. You can’t just playfully call other men stupid in front of them? Serious Wahala.

“But do you want me to come over?” 

It all starts with a woman asking “Should I come over?” And the man says “If you want to.” The next statement she makes is the statement above, and that’s how a whole argument starts. This is why this sentence can give men headaches.  The argument could be avoided if they simply just said “Yes, come over.” 

“Messi isn’t the greatest player ever” 

I don’t know which is worse: saying this or getting a dirty slap to the face. I think they’d rather receive the slap. I don’t watch football, but the one thing I know is not to slander Messi if the man you’re talking to adores Messi, or Ronaldo if he adores Ronaldo. Say anything bad about these two and plenty plenty shalaye will start.

 ALSO READ: Messi Vs. Ronaldo: These Nigerian Men Pick Their GOAT

“The generator has spoilt”

This is one of the most demoralising phrases on this list for him because it means money will leave his account for an expense he didn’t plan for. Either that or it means he’ll start sleeping with no electricity because there’s no money to fix the gen. Which means he has to have an all-night battle with heat and mosquitoes  — except he’s rich and has an inverter, but even though.

“Someone has scratched your car”

Once men hear this, they’re ready to throw hands. You scratched their baby? It’s all over. 

“We need to talk” 

Men hate this because it’s either the worst is about to come, or the person wants to have a serious conversation about feelings. And we all know how Nigerian men feel about that.

“There’s no food”

A Nigerian man doesn’t play with his food. The various food arguments on Twitter that return every Eke market days will tell you that. So when they go somewhere and hear that there’s no food, they may start shedding tears on the spot. It’s even worse when they’re hearing it at home from their housemate, after a stressful time at work, at the gym, or on the football pitch.

 ALSO READ: Nigerian Men on the Times They Went Crazy for Food

“I’m not okay”

This mostly comes after they ask a woman, “How are you?” When a woman says this to them most of the time, it means they’re about to collect some serious billing. Billing that will cost more than what they spend on themselves. 

“Is it in?”

If it is indeed in, you’ve just ruined their self-esteem.

“I saw the charger but there was no phone” 

You sef, reason it. If they tell it to you, won’t your heart cut? 

“Na only one match cut the ticket” 

One scoreline away from being hundreds of thousands richer from online sports betting? Or maybe millions sef. I can’t even begin to imagine how painful that is.

“Your card declined”

Even if there’s a lot of money on the card, his heart will still cut at first. He’ll begin to wonder if maybe he overestimated the amount of money he thought he had in his account. The absolute trenches.

ALSO READ: 6 Nigerian Men On Saying “I Love You” To Their Male Friends


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.