When you’ve settled into a relationship, it can be hard to be objective.
I mean, you’re comfortable and know your partner inside and out.
So, when you have differences in opinion, you may say things that, unbeknownst to you, could be sending your relationship down a spiral.
These are 10 toxic phrases that can slowly destroy a relationship.
1) “You always”
The first toxic phrase that can potentially damage your relationship is ‘You always’.
What this phrase does is generalize someone’s behavior. It implies that they do something the same way every time.
But it also ignores those instances where they acted differently.
I’ll give you an example. You say, ‘You always act like a spoilt child’ to your partner during an argument.
While they may be acting like a spoiled child, do they really act that way all the time? Like every single time? Because that’s what this phrase suggests.
It’s better to address their current actions and give specific examples rather than fitting your partner’s actions into a ‘one size fits all’ box.
The next phrase on this list has a similar effect.
2) “You never”
Much like the phrase above, starting any sentence with ‘you never’ makes a sweeping generalization of your partner’s actions.
Let’s take the examples, ‘You never clean up after yourself!’ or ‘You never pay the bills!’.
Unless they have literally never done the thing you’re accusing them of, it’s best to avoid this phrase.
Because what will likely happen is that your partner jumps in to defend themselves.
Next thing you know, you’re having a back-and-forth debate that started from this one comment.
Like the point above, a better approach is to be specific about what’s aggravating you and express your needs.
For example, ‘It would really help me out if you could wash up more. I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment’.
3) “It’s your fault”
No one likes to be blamed, even if something was their fault.
When you put the blame on someone, it only serves to make them feel bad for messing up.
But they may also get defensive in response to defend their actions.
No matter whose fault something is, it’s best to resist using this phrase, as nothing good will come of it.
Instead, it’s better to be objective.
What led to the mistake? What was your part in it? And what can be done to move forward from it?
Making mistakes is a normal part of life, so reflect upon it and then come up with solutions so you can both move past it.
Staying on the topic of mistakes …
4) “I told you so”
Like I said, making mistakes is par for the course. At some point, you and your partner will make choices you believe to be right. And sometimes, you’ll be wrong.
But that’s ok because we need to make wrong choices to learn and grow as people. Plus, these choices help us make the right ones in the future.
With that being said, a phrase like ‘I told you so’ doesn’t help the situation.
This phrase can be condescending. It looks down on the person who made the mistake and shows off.
You may have known your partner was making the wrong choice. But sometimes, they have to make that choice to learn a valuable lesson.
5) “You’re just like [insert person here]”
This phrase compares your partner to someone else in a negative light.
It does this by attacking their character and sucks away their individuality by fitting them into a box.
But using phrases like this can lead to feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.
Rather than compare your partner to someone else, try tackling any issues directly instead.
6) “You’re overreacting”
We all have our way of dealing with things. How you might react to something may not be the same way your partner reacts.
So, be careful with phrases like ‘You’re overreacting’, ‘It’s not a big deal’, or ‘Stop being so sensitive.’
Dismissing your partner’s feelings can lead to them bottling up their emotions. Either that, or they question their feelings and whether they’re even valid.
In these situations, it helps to be empathetic. That means taking the time to hear your partner’s side and understand where they’re coming from.
7) “I don’t care”
Another phrase that shows a lack of empathy and care is saying that you don’t care.
Relationships are a two-way street. Your and your partner’s needs and feelings are both important and valid.
So, blocking one side of that street can be damaging. If you truly don’t care about your partner’s feelings, it could leave them feeling isolated and neglected.
8) “You’re pathetic”
When you’re frustrated or angry at your partner, it’s easy to resort to name-calling and throwing insults.
While name-calling may release some of that tension and frustration within you, this is another phrase that can threaten to destroy your relationship.
For one, those insults will hurt and upset your partner. It can also make them feel disrespected and underappreciated.
Your partner will inevitably frustrate you at some point. When that happens, aim to be transparent about what they did.
They’re not mind readers, so letting them know what’s up will help them be mindful and aware of their actions.
9) “I hate you”
Another thing you might say out of frustration or anger is ‘I hate you’.
These three little words are as powerful as saying ‘I love you’. But telling your partner you hate them can be damaging.
Chances are you don’t mean it. You’re just in the heat of your emotions.
But that doesn’t mean your partner won’t believe it.
Your partner may start to question your feelings, even when you’ve moved on from your dispute. They may also develop feelings of insecurity and instability in your relationship.
10) “I’m done”
When you’re in the midst of an argument, you might also declare that you’re done with the relationship.
If you use this phrase, you’re essentially telling your partner you’ve had enough, can’t take any more and that it’s over.
So, try not to use this phrase unless you really are done with the relationship and plan to leave.
As well as hurting your partner, they may become insecure and develop trust issues. This can stem from them believing you will up and leave at any moment.
Relationships aren’t easy. For all the highs, there will be lows, too.
Whether it’s a difference of opinion or issues with your partner’s behaviour, how you handle these situations makes all the difference.
Eliminate these toxic phrases from your vocabulary and work towards being empathetic.
You can do this by listening to your partner’s needs and validating their feelings.
And if you’re irked by something they did, aim to be honest and tactful in how you deal with the situation.
By tackling situations with empathy and being honest about your feelings, this can help strengthen your relationship and leave toxicity at the doorstep.