Relationships improve as people grow close.
Closeness can only happen if two people interact and communicate with each other.
While this seems like a tall order, it is within your control. One of the actions you can take to improve your relationships is to avoid using the common phrases that spoil them. These are the things you may say, albeit unconsciously, that may make them sour. It is also helpful to know why you should communicate well.
How Healthy Communication Helps Relationships
If you are not comfortable chatting with others, you might need to understand why communication is helpful. Indeed, it is the key to a successful relationship.
Not communicating is unhealthy because it may worsen your problems. If you avoid sharing your concerns with your spouse, you may create misunderstandings that add to your worries.
Also, communicating allows you to work through problems together. You are more likely to get the support you need.
Furthermore, communication builds trust. Trusting your partner when you hardly talk to him or her is hard. Communicating with your partner will show him or her that you feel satisfied with your relationship.
Ten common phrases people say to their partner that kill relationships.
1. Not saying anything.
First of all, not commenting harms rather than helps. Letting your frustration build alienates your partner and is unhealthy for your relationship. Such passive-aggressive behavior causes tension because neither partner feels appreciated.
Communicate openly and honestly instead. Remember to state how your partner’s behavior makes you feel. Discussing your problems can increase closeness.
2. Why should I change?
Next, never say that you cannot change your ways because it shows an unwillingness to compromise. Being able to bend, at least once in a while, contributes to a healthy relationship. You may not agree with your partner all the time, but you must acknowledge his or her views. That way, your partner can trust that you care.
When your partner points out your faults, try to understand his reasoning. Perhaps he or she may have a point. Prepare to compromise when necessary. If the argument is about something that you feel is unfair, say so and let your partner know why.
For example, you may feel put off because your partner complains about your lateness. Work may have held you up. Say, “I understand why you feel frustrated, but there was a last-minute task I had to finish.”
3. It’s alright, forget it.
Furthermore, saying that everything is fine when it is obviously not is passive-aggressive behavior. Making your partner second-guess you can cause tension and further arguments. It also signals that you are not interested in communicating or improving the situation.
Again, say what bothers you honestly. Avoid assigning blame and never use sarcasm. If you are not in the right frame of mind, postpone the discussion. You may say things you regret.
4. He/She is so much better than you.
Telling your partner how he compares to someone else or worse still, your ex is a relationship killer. Doing this challenges his self-esteem and sense of security.
5. You do that too.
Among the common phrases that kill relationships is “You do that too.” You may feel tempted to give an eye for an eye when you have arguments. When your partner mentions how you always talk with your mouth full, you may want to say, ‘but you do too.’ Pointing out faults may make your partner feel that your relationship problems are larger than life.
Clarify issues instead. Say exactly what makes you upset, but do not complicate matters by mentioning past mistakes.
6. Perhaps we should break up.
Never make threats about your relationship because they may bear fruit. Doing this builds resentment and hints that it has become toxic.
Keeping your partner on tenterhooks with nuggets of love and intermittent threats does more harm than good. It unleashes dopamine, the hormone the brain releases when a person has an addiction. You may make your partner dependent on winning your affection, and that may cause an unhealthy co-dependency. Highlight problems graciously instead.
7. I cannot stand your parents/friends.
Do not run your partner’s friends or family down because it shows a lack of respect for what he or she represents. Instead, zero in on the issue that bothers you.
8. My parents/friends were right.
Telling your partner how right someone else was is negative because it creates feelings of distrust. Your partner will feel uncertain knowing that others were gossiping about him or her. That will not improve your relationship at all. Again, state how you feel and do not bring others into your argument.
9. You were the one who said.
Putting words into your partner’s mouth is aggravating because it distorts the meaning behind his or her words. It also suggests that you do not value your relationship. Do not assume what is in your partner’s head; instead, practice honesty.
10. You are a terrible spouse/parent/breadwinner.
Lastly, putting your partner down is particularly destructive, according to psychotherapist M. Gary Neuman. Egos are fragile, so tearing them down removes a person’s value and identity.
Again, specify what bothers you about your partner’s breadwinning or parenting skills, without running him or her down. Highlighting faults stresses your relationship.
Therefore, avoiding these common phrases will protect your relationship and may even give it a boost.
By Michelle L.