Communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, but it can also be one of the most challenging.
Sometimes, we may say things to our partner that we don’t really mean, or that we regret later.
However, some words can have a lasting negative impact on our partner’s feelings, trust, and self-esteem.
According to therapists, there are some things that you should never say to your partner, as they can cause serious harm to your relationship. Here are five of them:
1. “You’re just like your [parent/sibling/ex]”
Comparing your partner to someone else, especially someone they have a negative relationship with is a sure way to hurt their feelings and make them feel inadequate. It also shows that you don’t appreciate them for who they are and that you have unrealistic expectations of them. Instead of making comparisons, try to focus on your partner’s strengths and qualities, and express your gratitude for them.
2. “You always/never [do something]”
Using absolute words like “always” or “never” can make your partner feel attacked and defensive. It can also make them feel like you don’t notice or acknowledge the times when they do something right, or when they try to change. Instead of using generalizations, try to be specific and factual about what bothers you, and use “I” statements to express your feelings and needs.
3. “If you loved me, you would [do something]”
This is a form of manipulation and guilt-tripping, which can erode the trust and respect in your relationship. It can also make your partner feel like you don’t value their opinions, preferences, or boundaries, and that you only care about your own needs. Instead of using conditional love, try to respect your partner’s choices and autonomy, and compromise when possible.
4. “You’re so [negative/critical/stubborn/etc.]”
Using phrases like “You’re so [negative/critical/stubborn/etc.]” might unintentionally hurt your partner’s feelings and put them on the defensive. It could seem like you’re not accepting them as they are and wanting them to change. Instead, it’s more effective to explain what specific actions or situations bother you. Sharing how these actions make you feel using “I” statements, such as “I feel upset when…” or “I need to talk about…” helps your partner understand your emotions without feeling criticized. It’s all about finding ways to communicate that help both of you understand each other better and work together to make things smoother.
Saying “Whatever” in an argument might unintentionally convey a sense of dismissal or lack of interest in what your partner is saying. It can leave them feeling ignored or like their thoughts and feelings don’t matter. This can create a barrier to communication and resolution of issues. Instead, showing genuine interest, actively listening, and empathizing with your partner’s perspective can foster a more open and caring environment in your relationship. Taking the time to understand each other’s viewpoints can help strengthen your bond and create a space where both of you feel valued and heard.