These Phrases Might Harm Your Relationship, Avoid Using Them!
Our words have an immense power, whether or not we realize it. This is especially true in our relationships, where words are one of the main ways we communicate with our significant other. Our words can inspire our partners and let them know we love them, but the wrong words can hurt our partners. While a strong relationship can weather many storms, using the wrong phrases too much over time can destroy the feelings two people have for each other. Here are some psychologically unhealthy phrases that people with healthy relationships avoid.
“Never” and “Always”
“Never” and “always” are words that psychologically convey a sense of hopelessness. I once had a girlfriend who told me, in a moment of anger, that I never thought about her feelings. Even though she apologized later for the remark, it didn’t change the fact that hurt a lot to hear, especially because of how much I did think about her feelings. “Never” and “always” phrases have a finality to them, implying an unwillingness to compromise, work through problems, ore change your mind. These are three things that healthy relationships must have to survive.
Comparing your Partner to Other People
“Darryl bought his wife a new car for Christmas.” Did you notice the voice you heard in your head when you read that sentence? Comparing your partner to somebody else is never a good idea. It’s natural to make comparisons in your head, but when you verbalize them, you are setting them up to feel inadequate. This article from the Good Men Project especially warns against comparing them negatively to their mother or father.
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A quote that is usually attributed to Albert Einstein illustrates this point particularly well. “Everyone is a genius,” he says, “but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Each partner has their strong suits and also areas of their lives that need a little work. If there are changes you’d like your partner to make, it is better to find words that inspire them to change rather than making them feel they are worth less than somebody else.
Threatening to Break Up
Threatening to break up may seem to be an obvious conversational hazard to avoid with your partner, but I’m consistently surprised how often this is the go-to, “checkmate” that people use to “win” arguments. When you or your partner threatens the other with a breakup, it’s implanting the idea that they’re “on thin ice.” This is no way for two people who love each other to behave, because it creates too much anxiety, especially for people who already deal with anxiety and depression.
Bringing up divorce or a break up as a threat is also dangerous because, like any other word, it cannot be “unsaid.”
Profanity and Name-Calling
While four-letter words are becoming a more popular part of the common vernacular, they can damage a relationship by psychologically implying an undue (and perhaps unintended) level of anger. One of profanity’s worst effects is when you call somebody a cruel name. This shows outright contempt and a disregard for their value as a person, and has absolutely no place in a healthy relationship. Even though everybody gets upset with their significant other from time to time, there are ways to express this emotion constructively without causing irreparable damage.