Unless you’re ready to create some serious issues.
There are some things that should just never be said — no matter how heated a conversation may get. These things are hurtful, judgmental, and unkind. They serve no purpose save to create more upset.
It’s better to communicate with the aim of keeping things civil and purposeful. Integrity has to be in play when it comes to speaking our minds and speaking our truths. There’s always a kind way to say something that we want to say — even if it’s a hard truth to swallow. There are few excuses for being nasty and demeaning.
The worst things you should never say.
Our relationships with others are important, and they give us a sense of self and our place in the world. We’re social creatures. And we primarily satiate our social needs by communicating with one another. That communication is hard sometimes and charged with emotion. In those moments, we can find ourselves lashing out and saying things we don’t mean to say. In our romantic relationships, though, these are some of the worst things we can say.
You don’t have it in you
You should never tell someone that they don’t have the ability to do something that they want to do. As humans, we each have an almost endless ability to learn, perceive, and exercise an incredible range of valuable skills. To tell someone that they “don’t have it in them” is to deny that. Worse, it’s taking a swipe at their self-esteem and their core sense of self.
I knew that would happen
This is one of the most dismissive and heart-breaking things to be on the receiving end of. When someone says this to you, you feel judged. But worse than that, you feel worthless. You feel as though someone watched you spiral and enjoyed it. There’s no support in this statement. It’s a condemnation of character. More than that, it reveals someone with little faith in you.
You never get it right
Ever had someone told you that you’re always wrong? Was this someone who always expected the worst from you? Maybe they laughed when you got excited about some big new project or dream. They probably also failed to show up for you until success was squarely in the pocket. This is a horrible thing to say to someone. It’s a pin right in the balloon of their self-confidence.
Good luck with that
Another dismissive phrase that we should never use against a loved one is “good luck with that”. It shows a blatant lack of confidence, but more than that, it also carries hostility. More often than not, this is a phrase you heard uttered when jealousy is rearing its ugly head. It’s anything but wishing good luck to someone who you clearly do not believe in.
That’s why you’re alone
Humans are both social and emotional creatures. Even when we’re in a committed relationship, we like to have blooming social ties. We need friends outside of our partnership, but friends can be hard to make in this day and age. In the heat of the moment, your partner may use this social loneliness against you. That’s a cruel thing to do, though, and one which can really damage our self-esteem.
You’re a total failure
What a terrible judgment to place on someone. When you call someone a total failure, you basically dismiss their entire experience as a human. You also attack their self-esteem, their values, and who they are. No one is a total failure. No one is worthless or without the ability to improve themselves. To say that someone is a total failure is to dismiss them and reveal your own judgments and biases.
There’s no future for you
Denying someone a future is cruel. It makes them feel like an outcast, and it makes them feel as if their needs and desires are not worthwhile. We all have a future when we decide to take charge of our lives and take action. You’re taking the wind out of someone’s sails when you attack their dreams and their potential in such a callous and foolhardy way.
I’m disappointed in you
When people screw up, we get disappointed in them. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is using the phrase to emotionally manipulate or control someone that you’re otherwise supposed to love. If this phrase is used as emotional manipulation, it becomes a wrongful tool. Expressing our disappointment in someone or something that happened is only okay within the context of serious conversation and welcomed advice or opinions.
How to cultivate healthier communication.
If you and your partner want to cultivate healthier communication, then you have to commit to a different way of being with each other. Set boundaries and know where they lie for yourself and your partners. Consider how you want to feel in your relationship and focus on acting from empathy. When things get tough, don’t forget to focus on the bigger picture. Above all else, though, don’t expect your partner to manage your emotions. You’re an adult.
Both of you need to set boundaries when it comes to the way you communicate. These boundaries should dictate the way you talk to each other, when you talk, and how you approach your conversations. Both of you need to know where the boundaries are and show one another where the boundaries are each and every day.
Don’t allow yourself to push boundaries or slide past them. Our boundaries are important and they help us to protect our well-being. If your partner disrespects you, calmly explain to them why they have violated a boundary. If they still can’t respect that boundary, then limit the access they get to you (on every level). The same goes for you. Look at your partner’s boundaries with reverence and respect. Honor the way they want to be communicated with and allow them to honor your communication needs in turn.
Consider how you want to feel in your relationship. This is part of creating a stable vision. And we need that stable vision in order to manifest and act on those relationships. You need to think about how you want your partner to treat you, and how you want to feel when you’re facing both hardships and triumphs with them.
Take that feeling and that vision and apply it to your relationship with your partners and your loved ones. Are the words you’re about to use going to take that same feeling away from them? Will the next thing that comes out of your mouth encourage peace or chaos? Ultimately, you’re the only one who can control your speech (and your emotions). Look at things from all angles and consider how both you and your partner want and deserve to feel.
No matter where you stand in the moment, focus on compassion. Choose the road of empathy and try to understand one another instead of “winning” over one another. The power struggles have no place in a healthy and mature relationship.
Try to see things from your partner’s point of view. If they made a mistake, put yourself in their shoes. How badly would those words hurt you? Would you be wounded if your partner told you that you were worthless or that you would never accomplish something you wanted to do? The golden rule really applies in our partnerships. So, unless you want to end up in a doom spiral of resentment and conflict, cut the hurtful barbs and focus on building compassion in your relationship.
Always consider the bigger picture. Weigh the pros and cons of confronting someone. Is the snide remark worth it? How does it help your overall situation? If it only serves to make the other person feel angry or worse, then it’s only going to set both of you back in time and energy.
Your words have power. They have vibrations. When you spit out toxins, you put up walls. You tear other people down.
Before you go putting more hurdles in your path, it’s important to make sure that you really want that to happen. Otherwise, you could be creating negative scenarios for yourself that don’t have to happen. Look always at the bigger picture. What is a better way to approach the situation? What will help both you and your partner better understand the experience and one another?
Don’t look to your partner to manage your emotions. They aren’t responsible for making you happy or calming you down. They don’t deserve to be dumped on because you’ve had a hard time or a bad day. It’s not up to someone else to manage or regulate your emotional states. Take charge of the way you feel. Stop exploding on others because you’re frustrated or hurt.
Don’t punch back with nasty words simply because they’ve lashed out from wounds of their own. That turbulence is yours. Your emotions are yours — to understand and to control. None of that can happen, though, until you give yourself a solid foundation of emotional awareness to build from. Question your feelings and where they come from. Consider any damage that may warp the way you see and perceive those same emotions.