Here are 10 things you should never say to someone you care about- and what to say instead.
10 Things You Should Never Say to Someone You Care About
I’ve been working with people for many years. Almost all people have some person or persons they care about:
- significant other
I’ve also noticed that sometimes people have some communication patterns that become toxic to their close relationships. In other words, they say stupid things that, over time, destroy the relationships closest to them!
Don’t let this happen to you! Here are 10 things you should never say to someone you care about (and what you should say instead).
1. That’s just the way I am!
That’s such a cop out. When you are tempted to let that come out of your mouth, ask yourself, “Is this relationship important to me? If so, maybe I should listen and grow!”
2. You NEVER…
For one, it is probably not true… Never is pretty infinite. It automatically separates you from the person you care about, putting a wall as big a some presidents want between the US and Mexico, between you and the person you care about. How about this instead: “It bothers me when you…”
3. You ALWAYS…
Just like in *You NEVER*, this is probably an exaggeration- and an exaggeration that divides. ALWAYS is pretty hard to change (or want to change). How about this instead: “When you do this, I feel…”
4. I NEVER…
Well, when you said *I NEVER*, you just promised your loved one that you don’t care enough about them to grow. It tells them they are not valued by you! How about this: “This is hard for me…”
5. I ALWAYS…
You can’t have good relationships and be inflexible. *ALWAYS* is an inflexible word. Try something less intense, “I sometimes…”
6. I won’t…
If it is not a moral or ethical issue, then why *won’t* your relationship? When you said, “won’t” you placed a glass ceiling on the relationship, a glass ceiling of dysfunction. Try this instead, “Let’s change up our thinking on this. Let’s find an out-the-box, creative solution for this issue!”
7. I hate…
If you just said that to the person you care about, you’ve lost their trust. If you said it to them about someone else, you’ve just lost their trust. There can’t be hatred and trust at the same time. Try this instead, “I’m so angry about…”
8. I HAVE to…
I HAVE to…pay the bills? That’s good, say that. I HAVE to…wash the dishes? That’s good, say that. But most of the time we use “I HAVE to” as an excuse not to listen to the advice or needs of the person we care about. How about, “I’ll pray about what you said…”
9. I’m too busy…
That’s a great way to de-value the person you care about! How about this instead, “I want to make you a priority. Give me a minute to figure something out…”
10. You’re JUST A…
This is usually followed by an insult. Insults are always toxic, even if they are followed by, “just kidding”. In this case, just keep your mouth shut. As Thumper from Bambi said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
Want some coaching on how to communicate with people you care about? Contact me here or call 302-738-6859 for an appointment.