As we work to foster loving and empowering relationships, what we say and how we say it is so very important. Marriage counselors and clinical psychologists have been long working to understand the role of communication in successful relationships.
Their research has shown that there are some ways of communicating and phrases that lead to serious challenges between partners.
The following are five phrases that should be avoided at all costs and some helpful suggestions for better communicating how you feel.
#1 - "You're ALWAYS so..."
The words "always" and "never" can fly through the air when we're quite frustrated with our partners.
According to licensed psychotherapist Darylevuanie Johnson, "Too often we fill in the blank with a negative word or statement that reflects what we see as a critical problem with our partner.”
This mode of communicating puts them into a box and is usually quite devastating to hear.
Instead of using ALWAYS, take a deep breath and try to have a loving conversation about the issue that's bothering you.
Constructive conversations that are full of love and understanding will make your partner feel supported and inspired to make constructive changes.
#2 - "Why Can't You Be More Like..."
Comparing our partners to other people should be avoided at all costs. It's easy to look at others — at your friends' partners, your past partners, etc. — and think your other half should be more like them.
Making a statement like this translates to "you aren't good enough for me" and can be damaging.
Instead of suggesting that your other half be like someone else, think deeply about what you feel is lacking and assess the truth behind your assumptions.
When you really dig into what you're feeling, the problem may be more about you than your partner. The way to positive change is through loving communication and positive reinforcement against all odds.
You chose your partner for a reason, so make a list of the things you love about them. Then, dare to foster the most beautiful parts of who they are.
#3 - "You Can't Do Anything Right..."
In a stressful moment, you may be tempted to use this phrase, but do everything you can to bite your tongue!
One of the worst things we can do in our relationships is to make our partner feel worthless or incapable.
Find a moment of silence and try to connect with what is actually going on. Is your partner really doing something wrong? If so, consider asking what he or she is going through. Are they hurting? Are they feeling misunderstood? Maybe even lost?
Once again, being constructive and trying to understand our partners can lead to growth rather than unnecessary frustration and pain.
#4 - "Just Forget It..."
Sometimes when in a heated conversation, the easiest (but least effective) thing we can do is shut our partners down. Anytime you or your partner says, "Just forget it", it's code language for "this is a HUGE problem and we're just going to gloss over it."
Yes, hard conversations take a lot of energy, but facing our true feelings and discussing the real issues is a must for enjoying a heathly connection.
Rather than dismissing our partners, let's dare to take the time to REALLY look each other in the eyes and face the facts — in the most loving way possible.
#5 - "This Is All Your Fault..."
The blame game rarely gotten anyone anywhere positive in life. Blaming our partners for things going wrong will most make a bad situation worse.
Everyone makes mistakes, and it's so important we learn to forgive and move forward.
Yes, a situation you are facing may be tough because of decisions your partner has made, but successful teams face adversity together and find ways to come out even stronger.
There are numerous other phrases we should avoid, but we selected these to highlight the importance of lifting a partner up rather than tearing them down.
Positive energy is a must if we're going to create beautiful and inspiring lives. Our relationships should be a safe haven that provides the loving support we need to face the world's challenges.