OK, guys have you always wondered- what is the secret is to a great relationship? The secret is not as much what you should do but more about what you shouldn’t say.
The dictionary defines love as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. So if you want your loved one to feel loved it is about two things; what you do and what you say. Please don’t kid yourself the about the playground saying “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” it is not true — words can and do hurt. You know that. I often say we treat people at work better than we treat people at home, yet we like people at work and love the people at home.
Here are things you should never say to the one you love because, after all, you love them — right?
#1 — “I hate it when you….“ How many times do you hear yourself say, “I hate it when you talk on the phone so long” or “I hate it when you leave the towel over the shower bar instead of hanging up where it belongs.“ Think about it — you are telling the one you love that you hate something they are doing. How do you think that feels? So what do you say? Try “Could you do me a favor?” And then explain what you want them to do.
#2 — “You make me so #@&%$# mad!”– Have you ever noticed when you tell someone that they make you mad they get mad too? So how is that working for you Hoss? OK, here is the truth cowboy — no one can make you mad. You can decide to get mad. You can decide to be massively irritated. That is your choice not theirs. So what do you say? Say instead, “When you do this it makes me feel like you don’t respect me.” So the formula here is “when you do A- it makes me feel B.”
#3 — “What is wrong with you anyway?” When the person you love is frustrated or hurt and angry or emotional, saying “what is wrong with you?” sounds like they are damaged goods and it will not be well received. It’s insulting them not helping them. You can ask, “What is wrong? “or “Are you OK?” Then empathize with what is wrong. The magic then is the tone — a soft and caring tone not a critical mean tone.
#4 — “That was stupid.” When you say “I can’t believe you paid that much for that — that was stupid.” The person hearing it doesn’t hear that. What they hear is that they are stupid. They don’t separate the act from the insult. They don’t even hear the words after that. Just try really hard to eliminate the insulting words. They are called insulting because they insult the other person. When you throw around insulting words they will feel a need to defend themselves and often insult you back. Then you have a war.
#5 — “You always do that.” When you say, “You always leave and go to work and forget to feed the cats.” They say in their mind, “No that is not true I don’t always, sometimes I do.” There are no absolutes. No one does or doesn’t do something all the time. The accusation makes them feel attacked. Why do you want the one you love to feel attacked?
#6 — “Here we go again.” When someone wants to talk about something serious, and it has been talked about before don’t say, “Oh here we go again. I knew you would bring that up.” Obviously they want to talk about it and when you say that you are discounting their need to communicate. You are saying it doesn’t matter to you. If they matter, it should matter to you.
#7 — “Just shut up!” This is probably the worst one of all. Translation: I don’t even want to talk to you and I want you to stop talking because I am too frustrated. If that is true, it is reasonable to request a delay. Just say, “I need some time to think this through, can we just talk about this later?” When you delay or defer, you can talk when both of you are in a better state of mind.
#8 — “You drive me crazy” This should only be said as a compliment — like “It drives me crazy when I see you in that outfit- hubba hubba.” Not, “You know it drives me crazy when you do that.” Telling the one you love they are driving you crazy just makes them want to leave so you aren’t being driven crazy anymore.
What now man? Take some time and sit down and talk to your loved one and go through the list and agree on what you both will say in the future instead of negative hurtful words. You both will be so glad you did.