Relationships bring with them their fair share of conflict and disagreements. Disagreements can escalate and lead people to say things they regret, things they can’t take back. Here are some things you should never say to your partner even in the heat of anger. Here’s hoping at least a few of them stick with you the next time your partner inevitably rubs you the wrong way.
Are you that stupid?
Avoid statements that are overly critical and that question their intelligence or make them feel belittled. There’s no coming back from insulting your partner in this way. Partnerships work when there’s mutual respect and support, when you insinuate your partner is stupid, you kill this sense of support and respect.
My ex would always do…
Comparisons are a complete non-starter. Comparisons to your ex are even worse. If your ex did something that made you happy and met your needs but your current partner doesn’t, ask them to do that specific thing for you without invoking your ex.
What’s wrong with you?
What’s wrong with you and other statements that suggest there’s something fundamentally wrong with your partner are not helpful. People are often so insecure as a natural product of the human experience and piling on further is not a good idea.
When your partner raises a concern and you respond with “you’re crazy” or “you’re imagining things”, you’re being dismissive. Even worse, this is one of the tactics used by abusers to make people question their grasp of reality. It’s called gaslighting and is a major red flag.
That’s just the way I am
When your partner points out something that’s become a problem and you respond with, that’s just the way I am or some other variation of ‘Deal with it’, you’re being dismissive. More importantly, what you’re saying to your partner is you have no intention of changing. It’s as good as saying “Boys will be boys” and that’s just the way things are thus excusing your present and future bad behaviour in one fell swoop.
This is a phrase weaponized almost exclusively to hurt the other person. It has almost no purpose beyond that.
Can’t you get a real job?
Our society is structured in such a way that people derive their sense of self from their jobs and careers. Attacking someone’s job is a direct attack on them. Most of the time, people who don’t have prestigious or high-income jobs feel bad enough already, and pilling on is not in any way beneficial.
Stop being so sensitive, needy, dramatic
Avoid any statements that can be characterized as labeling and name-calling. It’s dismissive, insulting, and non-productive. Your partner’s feelings are valid and you should avoid any impulse to invalidate them. Just because you don’t understand why they feel how they feel doesn’t make them sensitive, needy, or dramatic.
I want a divorce/I’m done
Never threaten to leave unless you really mean it. Weaponizing people’s innate fear of abandonment when you don’t mean it is manipulative. It can also sow seeds of distrust and feelings of rejection, undermining intimacy in the relationship should you continue to stay together.
Threats and ultimatums
Threats and ultimatums issued in the heat of anger can lead you to follow through on something you didn’t actually mean because of pride. It can also make your partner stop taking you seriously if threats and ultimatums are a common occurrence.
Just don’t do it. Never tell your partner to shut up. It’s harsh, derogatory, and likely to cut deeper than you intended while you are angry or irritated.
Don’t be the kind of person who goes silent in the face of conflict, refusing to engage and open up. Don’t shy away from expressing yourself and letting your partner know how you really feel because of fear or unhealthy coping strategies like silent treatment which has a terrible effect on relationships.
Why Anger Can Be A Good Thing – How You Can Use It In A Healthy Way
Relationships: 7 Tips For Managing Relationship Conflicts
Do You Have Doubts About Your Relationship? Ask Yourself These Questions
7 Acts Of Kindness To Practice In Your Relationship