Relationships: so great when they start out, but if you’re not careful, they can quickly devolve into a maniacal battle of wills with hurt feelings and damaged egos. All couples fight (okay, most all couples fight), but it’s how you fight that can really define whether or not your relationship is going to work. And there are certain things you can say that can transform a minor tiff into a major explosion.
Nobody is immune: Women are equally capable of doing and saying damaging things in a relationship. Which is why I’ve compiled this list of phrases you should try to avoid including in your fight vocabulary. Check it out, and tell us what you think should be added to the list!
1. “Are you trying to make me mad?” Is there ever a good response to this kind of question? Noooooot really.
2. “You never spend time with me.” Words like “never” and “always” are total relationship poison. Nobody is ever “always” or “never” doing something. Instead of claiming someone’s always doing x, y or z, try to use specific examples or time frames where your significant other disappointed you.
3. “Stop being crazy.” Men and women are both guilty of pathologizing their mates, though it seems like “crazy” gets tossed at women way more than men. Telling someone that they’re behavior is “crazy” is completely dismissive. It also vilifies people with actual mental illness.
4. “You’re overreacting.” It sucks when someone tells you how you’re feeling. How do they know? Don’t do it to someone else.
5. “You always do that.” See number 2.
6. “I don’t know why I even try.” This kind of comment is super dismissive, which makes it super hurtful.
7. “Are you on your period?” Girls get this all the time. This falls right in line with ass backwards thinking that women’s emotions can’t be real, genuine or justified.
8. “Are you going to wear that?” What you really mean is, “please don’t wear that. You’re totally embarrassing me.”
9. “What’s your problem?” Asking someone “What’s your problem?” says “I don’t really want to know.”
10. “You are such a control freak.” Calling someone a freak is just about the same as calling someone crazy. Why not try (again) identifying the specific behavior or incident that felt controlling and discuss that? Nobody likes to be labeled.
11. “What’s that supposed to mean?” Has anything good ever followed after someone’s said those words in anger? Nope, not really.