Catch Word #135 – Like water off a duck’s back

When someone says something negative or critical about you, sometimes it can bother or upset you. But it’s important not to take things like this too personally, just like this week’s expression: like water off a duck’s back. In this episode, we look at idioms that mean that you don’t let someone’s negative comments affect you. We think that’s good advice. Check out this episode to hear about brushing things off and constructive criticism.


Expressions included in the learning materialsLearn to speak natural English

  • To get the hang of something
  • To let something get to you
  • Like water off a duck’s back
  • Constructive criticism
  • To nag
  • To brush something off
  • Right off the bat
  • To suck
  • To put your nose to the grindstone
  • To laugh something off
  • To get under your skin
  • Cool
  • Not to sweat something

Sample transcript

Maura: In this example, someone was really upset about getting in trouble with her boss, about not meeting deadlines, and she talked about another colleague, Sheila, who didn’t get upset. Sheila treated the boss’s comments like water off a duck’s back. They didn’t bother her and she didn’t get upset.
Harp: Yeah. Sheila didn’t let the boss get to her. She didn’t let his negative comments and his yelling at her get her upset.
Maura:  And that is important. Sometimes you should listen to criticism. This is actually called constructive criticism, when someone is just trying to give you advice so you can improve yourself and be better. That’s important, but it’s also important that if someone is saying something negative to you, you don’t take it too personally, either.
Harp: Yeah. It’s important to not be too sensitive when people are trying to give you constructive criticism, or even when they’re just criticizing. It’s important to just not let it affect you too much.

Podcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast, Photo Culips

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Posted in Catch Word.