Often, usually during formal conversations, we might hear the phrase “with that being said”. It’s something we hear so often, we often don’t stop to think what it means. But today, I want to look at some of the ways it can be used, and show you using some examples.
Usually, “with that being said” means something similar to “On the other hand”, but it can also mean “in conclusion.”
The five main ways to use it are comparing the good to the bad, showing understanding, and suggesting ways to improve and to conclude.
Let’s take a look at how you can use this phrase.
Introduction to the phrase: “With that being said”
Before we get into that, we should take a look at the word “said”. Our English teachers tell us never to use this word in school, but in the real world, how we say things are not relevant, what matters is what we say.
As a verb, “said” is the past tense of “say”. But in the sentence “with that being said”, “said” is an adjective.
An adjective is a descriptive word to talk about a noun. In this case “it”, referring to the thing that’s just been said, is the noun, and “said” is the adjective that describes it.
When used as an adjective, “said” is another way of saying “spoken/written”.
#1 Bad but good
One of the most common uses of “with that being said” is just after you’ve finished saying something bad and you now wish to say something good. This is an excellent way of giving criticism as it shows that you don’t just want to tear people down.
Just because you’re criticising someone, that doesn’t mean you need to be nasty to them. “With that being said” allows you to quickly switch from critical to talking about what you like about them or their work.
Let’s take a look at how you can use “with that being said” to heal some emotional wounds you may have created.
“Your daughter is having real trouble with her homework- she never hands it in! With that being said, in class she always works very hard and produces fantastic work”.
In this example, there is a bad (she doesn’t do her homework) followed by a good (she works hard in class).
“Your average sale is lower than the rest of your colleagues. With that being said, you are getting a lot of return customers”.
Here, a boss says that even though this person makes less money per sale, more customers return to him.
#2 Good but bad
You can also do this other way round to talk about something good but follow it up by saying something good. This can allow you to give compliments to people without making you seem like a kiss-ass. It will enable you to emphasise what you like and talk about where you think there is an area for improvement.
Talking about the good first could help you come across as a nicer person than the negative. But following it with “with that being said” can show that you’re not just a yes man.
Here are some examples of how you can use “with that being said” to show you’re not a pushover.
“Customers really like you. But with that being said, you need to pick up the speed.”
Here, a boss says to his employee that despite customers liking him, he needs to get faster at his job.
“You failed the test, all because you didn’t study. With that being said, your coursework was very high quality.”
In this example, a teacher says to her student that even though she failed an exam, she is happy with the coursework.
Circumstances to use it
It’s very rare for “with that being said” to come up during casual conversations with your friends. Usually, it would be said in more (or at least semi-formal) situations with people such as your boss, bank, court, teachers, and sometimes the news.
Bosses and teachers will usually use it for the reasons we’ve spoken about, to prevent them from coming across as critical for the sake of being critical or to stop them from appearing like a pushover.
Usually, when used in court, it’s to justify your reasons for your actions.
#3 Bad but understandable
“With that being said” can be used to say “I done X, which sounds bad. But the reason I did it is Y”.
This will allow you to seem justified in your actions, as you’re acknowledging the fact something wrong has been done, but you’re giving a valid reason for it.
When using the phrase this way to talk about someone else, you can enable yourself to come across as someone who is understanding and respects the obstacles life throws at people.
It’s often used in court to justify actions that would otherwise be illegal.
“Your honour. I should not have driven at the speed I did. With that being said, I had an emergency that I had to attend to”.
The defendant said that he knew he was driving too fast, but he didn’t have much choice.
“I don’t like it when people are late, it makes me lose money. With that being said, I saw on the news that there was an accident near your house”.
The boss says that even though he’s not happy about his boss being late, he understands the reasoning behind it.
#4 Bad but chance to improve
When you’re not happy about something, you can use “with that being said” to show that there is room for improvement and all hope is not lost.
This can prevent you from coming across as rude and overly critical. To use it in this way, the praise and criticism should be somehow related to one another.
You’re not just trying to tear people down and make them feel bad. Your goal is to make sure they sort out their issues and become as productive as you believe they can be. “With that being said” can make you go from bully to guru.
“He doesn’t have many friends. With that being said, he also doesn’t have many enemies”.
In this example, the boy might struggle to make friends, but because people don’t tend to dislike him, that can be changed.
“I’m unhappy that you didn’t upsell to that customer. With that being said, you did have her wrapped around your finger.”
Here a boss is implying that he should be able to upsell easily because of his employee’s people skills.
“The meal took 30 minutes to come out. With that being said, I appreciate how you kept checking up on it for me”.
The customer says that even though her food was late, she likes how her waiter took care of her.
Alternative ways of saying “with that being said”
As with most phrases in the English language, there is more than one way of saying “with that being said”.
You could say “Having said that”, which has a similar meaning, and similar words. The only thing with this version is that it can’t be used to indicate a conclusion.
“On the other hand” can be used to compare the good to the bad. It’s more common in casual conversation than “with that being said”.
“But then again” can also be used to compare a positive to a negative.
And when using it as a conclusion, you could also say “So, before I finish”, “to summarise”, or “in conclusion”.
#5 As a start to a conclusion
The final way you can use “with that being said” is as a conclusion. When speaking, the emphasis.
Usually, it would be “with that being said“. But when used as a conclusion, it should be “With that being said”.
Usually, this will come before a call to action. It will make the goodbye seem friendly, and less of a sales pitch. It can be a very persuasive technique.
Here are some examples of how you can use “with that being said” to start a conclusion.
“With that being said, if you need help with marketing, Smith’s Marketing agency can easily be contacted”.
The advertiser says that if you need help with something related to the article, you can contact them.
“And so, with that being said, we will be organising a rally on Saturday.”
Here, the speaker hopes to have convinced you with his previous article/speech to become passionate about the topic, and he wants to see you at the rally.
“With that being said” is commonplace informal settings, be that with your boss, teacher, judge, or another formal setting.
Usually, it will be used to say “Even though X, Y”. This can help you talk about the negatives and positives whilst coming across as neither a bully nor a pushover.
It can be used to say that even though something terrible has happened, there is a valid reason for it. You could use it to show that there is potential for improvement. And finally, it can be used to start a conclusion.
Hopefully, now, you have a better idea of how it can be used, and what it can mean in different circumstances.