No relationship is easy. Fights can happen, arguments can arise, and in the heat of the moment, we all can sometimes say things that we don’t mean to. While our mouths often run off without our brains, it’s important to make sure that nothing we say during an argument can lead to deeply hurt feelings, or a loss of trust – or to making the argument worse! So, even when in the middle of an argument, there are definitely things that shouldn’t be said.
HERE ARE 10 SENTENCES YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY IN A RELATIONSHIP
1. “YOU’RE OVERREACTING.”
This is the easiest way to invalidate someone’s emotions. Suggesting that your partner is overreacting is the easiest way to lead to hurt feelings. Besides, in the middle of an argument, emotions are going to be running high. Acknowledging how the other person feels is the best way to deal with those emotions. Suggesting that they’re over-the-top or unnecessary is only going to make the other person even more upset.
2. “YOU LET ME DOWN.”
Even if your partner did disappoint you, it’s best to explain exactly how and why. Rather than pulling the disappointment card and making the other person feel guilty, try explaining the expectations that you had and what can be done in the future to help you and your partner achieve the needed goal. Trying to make the other person feel guilty isn’t going to solve the problem; it’ll just make it worse.
3. “CALM DOWN.”
There’s nothing that can rile a person up more than hearing someone tell them to calm down when they’re not even close to overreacting. If they were throwing objects or screaming, this might be an appropriate phrase. However, if your partner is legitimately upset and expressing their emotions, albeit passionately, telling them to “calm down” is only going to have the opposite effect – while minimizing how they feel. It’s best to let the other person say what they need to say and express how they feel.
4. “JUST DROP IT.”
Sometimes, we all need to step away from an argument for our own mental health. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. According to licensed mental health counselor Nicki Nance, “Don’t say anything dismissive in the middle of a conversation as a way to avoid talking about something uncomfortable. Dropping a conversation midway diminishes the importance of the relationship and makes your partner feel unheard.”
If the argument is getting to be too much, simply asking, “Can we take a break from this?” can pause the discussion until both people are feeling more capable of continuing. However, telling someone to “just drop it” is shutting down the discussion, locking the door and throwing away the key.
5. “YOU’RE SUCH A…”
If this is followed by any kind of expletive, or anything other than “…kind and caring partner”, you might want to forgo finishing that sentence. Name-calling is not only immature, but it doesn’t get the argument anywhere. In fact, if can be downright mean and one person can feel legitimately hurt when their partner resorts to name-calling or swearing in the middle of an argument. Sometimes, we say things we don’t mean – and we can’t always take them back afterwards.
6. “MAYBE WE SHOULD BREAK UP.”
Threatening to walk out and leave the relationship during an argument is both manipulative and the cause of mistrust and hurt feelings. The only thing that pulling this particular card will do is make the other person feel like they have to walk on eggshells during a disagreement to avoid being broken up with. Out of all the things never to say during an argument or in the heat of the moment, this is the big one.
7. “YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING.”
“Making someone feel worthless is harmful as it cuts to the core value of a person. It’s emotionally and spiritually violent, and it chips away at a person’s self-worth.” – Natasha Sandy
Differing opinions and disagreements happen in relationships all the time. Whether or not you and your partner agree has no bearing on what your partner does or doesn’t know. The only thing this phrase will do is make the other person feel small. It’s possible to disagree, even during an argument, in a respectful manner that doesn’t insult the other person’s intelligence. According to counselor and therapist Natasha Sandy, “It’s much easier to stop yourself from saying such disrespectful, hurtful words than it is to try undoing the damage afterward.”
8. “YOU’RE BEING CRAZY.”
Emotions can run high, but just because someone is emotional doesn’t mean that they’re not thinking logically. Dismissing someone’s reality is cruel and unfair, and it’ll only serve to make the other person distrusting in the relationship and less prone to sharing how they’re really feeling. Allow your partner to explain and share their feelings and their perception of the situation without dismissing how they feel.
9. “IT’S FINE.”
Only say “it’s fine”, if it really is fine, and then make sure to follow up with an assurance that yes, it is actually fine. If it – whatever it is – isn’t actually fine, then your partner needs to know. While it may work to smooth over a bump in the road, the underlying problem in the foundation will still be there. The only way for things to be fine is if they’re worked on by both partners, not if one partner is running away from the argument.
10. “I’M DONE.”
When someone says “I’m done”, the meaning is quite clear to their partner: they’re not worth fighting for. According to licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert Rhonda Richards-Smith, “This statement sends a very abrupt and dismissive message to your partner that they can become expendable in an instant.”
If you’re not really done, don’t say that you are. Again, this will only make the other person feel as if they have to be careful about what they say or feel, or risk being walked away from. If you need to step away from the argument, that’s one thing. But don’t throw it all away on one little fight!
Even in the middle of a passionate argument, it’s important that we keep our heads about us. Saying something we don’t mean can damage a relationship, and there are always some things that are said that can’t be taken back. Arguments can always be put on hold if we feel like we may say or do something we’ll regret.