No matter how perfect your relationship is or how in-tune you are with your partner, having disagreements is normal. The freedom to voice out differing opinions and talking about it is part of having healthy communication. Not everything should be spoken though, because some words hurt more than they help and can widen the rift between you and your partner. Below we investigate the words and phrases that you should refrain from saying to your partner especially during a fight.
“I should just leave” or “You should just leave”
Hinting at a breakup or saying you don’t your partner to be around feels like abandonment or giving up. Instead of saying this if you need space or time, you can suggest talking at a later time.
“Whatever” or “It’s fine”/”I’m fine”
If you don’t feel fine and if you care, why say whatever and that everything is okay? Being honest with your feelings is part of being intimate with someone. If you are not yet ready to discuss something, you can say that you need to assess what is making you feel not okay. This way, you won’t be closing off communication.
“You always… or “You never…”
Absolute terms like never and always can make the other party feel that they are being judged or not being appreciated enough. You can rephrase this by saying “You sometimes…” instead of “you always…” and “my concern is …” instead of “you never…”
Saying this is like slapping your partner with words that you don’t care enough or that whatever they are feeling or saying has no validity. Instead of using this dismissive phrase, you can reword this as “I don’t agree with…” or by saying “The way I perceive this is…”
“Let’s just stop” or “Let’s just drop it”
If you need a timeout, then say that. Do not say something that essentially means you’re dismissing the concern or you’re giving up. Doing so can trigger feelings of abandonment.
“Oh, I’d love to see that!” or “Isn’t that just great?”
Or any other form of sarcasm. This creates distrust and is really nothing more than a passive-aggressive attack. Passive-aggressive remarks only hurt and do not resolve anything.
Name-calling does not serve any positive purpose. Yes, lashing out can make you feel good for a few minutes or hours but the guilt and hurt that follows isn’t worth it.
This usually negates whatever else you say and serves as a way to excuse an earlier behavior or thought. Use “and” or “just to add” instead.
“This is too much effort” or “it shouldn’t be like this”
Saying the phrases above is like saying you do not value the relationship enough to put in work. Remember, what you are feeling now is temporary and shouldn’t hurt your relationship that you’ve worked so hard for.
Everyone who used this phrase in a fight knows that this phrase has the opposite effect and can only trigger more back lash. Instead of saying “calm down”, how about asking your partner to tell you what’s wrong in a clearer manner? This will make them gather their thoughts and communicate better.
Nobody likes to argue or fight, especially when the outcome tends to only make matters worse. Communication in healthy relationships involves listening, understanding and being empathetic to your partner’s needs. Remember you are a team, so treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated and watch how things improve.