We all have moments of anger.
But sometimes, those moments can lead to words that are sharper — and more hurtful — than we’d like to admit.
You might look back on some of your heated conversations and struggle to remember the reason for the argument.
Or maybe feel unsure if what you said was really warranted or not.
So how do you know if what you said was truly hurtful, or just the typical heat-of-the-moment banter most people engage in?
If you want to avoid unintentionally hurting someone you love, read more below to learn the 9 things you should never say to someone — even if you’re angry.
1. “You’re Overreacting”
One of the most destructive phrases you can utter to someone, especially in the midst of an argument, is telling them they’re overreacting.
By doing so, you’re not only invalidating their feelings but also implying that their reaction to the situation is wrong.
You might think you’re providing a reality check or offering a different perspective, but in truth, you’re dismissing their emotions and creating a divide in communication.
Remember that everyone has their own way of perceiving and responding to situations.
Instead of dismissing someone’s reaction, try acknowledging their feelings and discussing the matter at hand calmly and respectfully.
2. “I Don’t Care”
When emotions are running high, you might be tempted to use this phrase as a defensive mechanism or as a way to end the argument quickly.
But what it truly communicates is a lack of respect and concern for the other person’s feelings or opinions.
When you say “I don’t care,” you’re essentially saying that their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives are of no importance to you.
This can be deeply damaging, especially when said to someone you hold dear.
If you find yourself resorting to this phrase more often than not, it might be worth reflecting on why that is.
Are you genuinely indifferent, or are you using it as a tool to avoid addressing the real issue?
Remember, effective communication is key in any relationship, and saying “I don’t care” shuts down any chance of a constructive conversation.
3. “You Always…” or “You Never…”
When we use absolutes like “always” and “never”, it tends to paint an inaccurately negative picture of the person we’re arguing with.
It not only escalates the argument but also shifts the focus from the issue at hand to a personal attack.
One particular instance that comes to mind is an argument I had with my best friend. In the heat of the moment, I said, “You never understand my point of view.”
The minute those words left my mouth, I could see how it hurt her. She felt generalized and unfairly judged, and it took a toll on our friendship.
If you often find yourself using these phrases, it might be time for some self-reflection.
Are you focusing more on the person’s character flaws instead of addressing the specific issue at hand?
Keep in mind that using absolutes rarely leads to productive discussions and often leads to further misunderstandings.
Instead of saying this, try addressing the specific behavior or event that sparked your anger. That way, you’re giving the argument a chance to lead to a peaceful resolution.
4. “You’re Just Like Your [Parent]”
In the throes of an argument, drawing comparisons between someone and a family member can be damaging — especially if the comparison is intended to be negative or critical.
This phrase can make the other person feel pigeonholed and can bring up deep-seated family issues that they may be struggling with.
This is because our brains are wired to pick up on patterns and make connections, which is why comparisons can be especially hurtful.
They force people into boxes they may have been trying to break out of and can perpetuate cycles of negative behavior.
If you find yourself resorting to these types of comparisons, it might be a sign that you’re not addressing the individual issue at hand.
Instead of comparing someone to a family member, try addressing their specific behavior that caused the disagreement.
It’s more productive and much less likely to cause lasting emotional damage.
5. “Why Can’t You Be More Like…?”
Like the previous phrase, this one is hurtful because it’s based on comparison.
It’s a phrase I wish I had never uttered.
In a moment of frustration, I compared my significant other to an ex, stating, “Why can’t you be more like him?”
The moment the words slipped, I could see the hurt wash over his face.
What I failed to realize in that heated moment was that by comparing him to someone else, I was essentially rejecting who he was as an individual.
Instead of appreciating his unique qualities and addressing our issue directly, I made him feel less than and unworthy.
If you find yourself drawing comparisons between your loved one and someone else, it might be time to consider why that is.
Remember that everyone has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, so appreciate your loved one for who they are, not who you want them to be.
Though it may seem harmless, the word “whatever” is a dismissive term that can cause significant damage in a heated conversation.
It signals indifference and can come across as disrespectful.
It’s a way of saying, “I’ve stopped listening,” or “I don’t value what you’re saying,” which can make the other person feel invalidated and dismissed.
7. “I Hate You”
Telling someone you hate them is an extreme form of rejection that can cause immense emotional pain.
These words are among the most hurtful things you can say to someone, even in anger, because they cut deep and can leave lasting emotional scars.
If you’ve ever said this out of anger, consider why you resorted to such harsh words.
Were you trying to hurt the other person as much as they had hurt you?
Or were you expressing a deep-seated anger that needs addressing?
Either way, it’s important for you to find healthier ways to express your feelings instead of outrightly telling someone you love that you hate them just because you’re angry.
8. “I Wish I Had Never Met You”
This phrase is an expression of regret and rejection.
When said out of anger, it communicates that the person’s presence in your life has been more negative than positive, which can be deeply hurtful.
9. “It’s All Your Fault”
Blaming someone entirely for a situation isn’t just unfair, it’s also unproductive.
It shuts down the possibility of a constructive conversation and can make the other person defensive.
If you frequently blame others when things go wrong, it might be time to reflect on why that is.
Are you avoiding taking responsibility for your part in the situation?
Or are you struggling with feelings of guilt or inadequacy?
Whatever the case, it’s important to remember that most situations involve shared responsibility, and it’s more productive to focus on solutions rather than assigning blame.