18 Ways to Wish Someone Well (No Luck Involved!)
I’m on the hunt – for great alternatives to saying good luck. While the platitude might be appropriate for things that truly require chance – like roulette or guessing the weather on a day a year from now – in most situations, it implies to the recipient that something outside themselves is in control of their outcome.
Looking for a job? Good luck. Heading off for a soccer match? Good luck. About to give a performance? Good luck. Just coached a friend into smoothing over an argument with a significant other? Good luck, hope it goes well.
On a Facebook version of Family Feud, participants were once asked to list the times that people most often said good luck. Here are the answers:
- Sporting event
The problem? The platitude, when taken literally, implies that the person is not already good enough, or is not in full control of the outcome. It introduces doubt. As Professor Dumbledore says, in his “not-so-humble-opinion”, “words are our most inexhaustible source of magic”. So why not take the opportunity to fully empower the person you’re talking to?
I’d love to have a repertoire of several short uplifting alternatives to good luck, that affirm the competence and already-greatness of the recipient. Alternatives that I’ve thought of are:
- Go be you!
- I’ll be thinking of you
- Break a leg
- Knock ‘em dead
- Have fun
- Do your best
- Rock on
- Go get ‘em!
- I’m sending good thoughts your way
- I know you’ll rock it!
- I’m here for you
- Wishing you well
- Hoping for the best
- For a game, performance, interview: Have a great _________ !
- At the hospital: Hope your results are good. I’m here for you.
- At the casino: hope your cards run hot!
- At a wedding: Hope all the vendors come through smoothly – please let me know if there’s anything I can help with. Have fun!
- Before a test, interview: Just relax so you can remember what you’ve learned. You’ll be great!
Being specific about what you intend to the recipient is best. #16 is still wishing luck, though it’s much better because it’s clear about what kind of luck we’re wishing, rather than letting ‘good luck’ potentially get interpreted as wishing them luck in playing the game (and doubting their skill). At the same time, it’s nice to have an arsenal of quick alternatives at hand, too, for short conversations and situations where we don’t know much detail. What additions do you have to this list?
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