Communicating in a relationship is hard. For the most part there are no hard and fast rules because everyone is different and reacts to things differently.
That being said there is one word experts seem to agree should be completely nixed from your relationship vocabulary.
In a piece for The Huffington Post on damaging relationship phrases, Los Angeles-based psychologist Anna Brosh says that if you want to better communicate with your partner, you should bad the word ‘never’ from your conversations (read: arguments) with them.
“It’s a way of shutting your partner out while leaving them feeling hopeless,” says Brosh. “It creates a sense of finality which leaves no room for further discussion.”
For example, Brosh says instead of saying something like “You never listen to me” try altering it to be something more like “When you’re on your cellphone during conversations I feel like you’re not listening to me,” or ‘“There are times when I’m not sure you’re really listening to me.’”
Marriage and family therapist Dr. Andrea Brandt agrees, but adds that the word ‘always’ is just as bad.
In an piece on Psychology Today, Brandt says that both ‘never’ and ‘always are rarely factual.
“When you use phrases that include ‘always’ or ‘never,’ you’re telling a partner that they can’t ever do something right and that you don’t believe they can change,” she writes. “This leads your partner to feel resigned and not try.”
She suggest replacing the words with “frequently” or “often” to avoid shutting your partner down completely.
Basically, the lesson is to think before you speak and choose your words carefully. Doing so can save a lot of hurt feelings.
H/T: Pretty 52