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Just last week, we told you about the 20 things a man should never, under any circumstance, say to a woman. But, thanks to psychologist Alexandra Solomon, Ph.D., we now know what phrases no one should ever say to their partner, via Psychology Today—unless they're looking for a fight.
According to Dr. Solomon, these are the statements that will most lead to an argument.
“If you loved me, you would…”
- When you say this, you are saying that you really want your partner to say or do something. The problem is that your partner can easily say back to you, 'Well, if you loved me, you wouldn’t ask me to…' It is far more 'intimacy-inviting' (as I describe it in my book) to say, 'I am having such a hard time understanding what is keeping you from doing this. The story I am telling myself is that you must not love me very much.'"
“Why isn’t it like it used to be between us?”
- "When people say this, they are fighting against the reality that love changes over time. The way you feel during the first year of a relationship is not the same as you feel in the seventh. And wishing the relationship was the way it used to be keeps you stuck in a fairy tale. Instead, ask for what you want, right here, right now. 'I want us to go out on dates like we used to do,' or, 'I would love for you to give me a massage like you used to.' Does this make you more vulnerable? Yes. More likely to get you what you want? Yes!"
“You’re acting just like your mother!” (Or your father, or your Uncle Saul...)
- "Unless you say this in a complementary way ('You’re acting just like your mother, who always shows tremendous grace under pressure'), don't say it. Even if your declaration holds some truth, it is sure to start a fight. A comment like this is below the belt and likely to trigger nothing but defensiveness in a partner. Instead, describe the specific behavior your partner is exhibiting and talk about what that behavior stirs up in you. 'You are raising your voice a lot right now. When you do that, I feel shut down and frustrated. It makes me want to pull away from you.'"
Alexandra Solomon goes on to remind us that, surprise, love and relationships are hard work, and they take more effort than just a couple good days together and some sex to remain happy.
When arguments, disagreements or full-blown shouting matches occur, it's important to stay calm and not let your emotions get the best of either one of you, resisting the urge of saying something stupid that will last with your partner for a long time. And, thanks to this, now you know which phrases will do that the most!