Every single relationship has arguments.
If done in the right way, a disagreement can help to resolve differences.
Some people refer to arguments as ‘fighting fair’ or ‘constructive criticism’. Whatever you call it, it absolutely has to be done in a respectful manner.
Arguments are ALWAYS a two-way street, even if you believe the other person is wrong.
In order to have a constructive conversation, there are a few things that you should never say unless you want tempers to flare!
Below are 11 things to never say to your partner during an argument.
1.) “Everyone thinks that you…”
Not only is this statement hurtful to your partner, it is also bringing other people into the argument.
This statement is nothing but a tactic to make your partner worried that there are a lot of people who see and talk about their flaws.
Keep the disagreement between you!
Unless their behavior is truly affecting others around you, stop making them feel like others are judging them – as well as you.
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2.) “I’ll talk to you when you can be rational!”
If you say this to your partner, it will only make the argument worse!
The message you are conveying is, “I don’t care that you are upset. I’m not sticking around to talk it through.”
If your partner’s emotions truly are getting out of hand, there is a respectful way to ask them to calm down.
“This conversation is getting too heated right now – I know I am. Let’s just take a few minutes to breath, so we can come back and have a constructive and respectful conversation.”
Let your partner know that you are in the conversation with them!
Even if they are the ones conveying the emotion, you can both use a few minutes to gain mental clarity and calm down.
Side Note: I am NOT referring to a partner being verbally or physically abusive. If they are treating you in an abusive manner, you need to leave. Don’t stick around and let someone disrespect you and injure you (physically or emotionally).
Related Article: 9 Signs He is Totally Trying to Change You
3.) “Here we go again! Can’t you just get over it!”
If your partner is upset about something in a recurring manner, this is a sign that something is wrong!
Your partner has triggers – circumstances or actions that upset them out of the blue.
Their triggers are typically going to be much different than yours and you need to learn to be understanding.
There may be things from their past that have created these triggers. Perhaps they are insecurities, such as comments that mean one thing to you and a completely other thing to them.
Don’t make your partner feel guilty for having feelings!
If they are overly jealous or possessive, you will need to address that behavior specifically.
Don’t excuse a problem with a hurtful comment. The only outcome will be a deepened resentment.
4.) “You are acting just like my ex/your father/your mother, etc.”
Never play the comparison game!
If you or your partner compares each other to their previous romantic relationships, you are headed straight for a big break-up!
If either of you compares each other to a toxic family member, you are also making them feel like they are repeating the mistakes of the past.
There is nothing constructive about comparing your partner to someone else.
You are questioning their character to the core, by making them feel like they are constantly under the shadow of someone else.
Character assassination will get you nowhere – other than showing that you are probably being manipulative.
Related Article: 11 Things Narcissists Say to Manipulate You
5.) “You are a total %&#[email protected]!”
When you decide to use name-calling or other derogatory language in an argument, you have lowered yourself to a whole new level of pathetic.
I don’t care if your partner is cussing at you or calling you names, don’t use the same tactic back on them.
Name-calling damages your opponents feelings, but it does nothing that is constructive at all.
Don’t go on the defense and become an attack dog!
Instead, channel all that negative energy into focusing on the issue that you are disagreeing on.
Related article: 5 Signs Your Relationship Is Absolutely Toxic
6.) “You are exaggerating everything!”
Yes, exaggeration is lying and it can become a problem in a relationship.
However, if your partner is very upset at something, they may ‘over-state’ a few of the facts.
Highly emotional situations do have the tenancy to cause a person to exaggerate a thing or two.
If you do feel that your partner has exaggerated something, try to focus on listening to them until they are finished talking.
Don’t interrupt them and accuse them of exaggeration.
There is nothing that calms someone down like acknowledging that their partner is listening and being understanding.
Side Note: If your partner does tend to exaggerate, try to address that issue when emotions are not so high.
7.) “You Always/Never Do That!”
Making “absolute statements” like this are very dangerous. They almost always escalate the problem!
If you are frustrated by your significant other’s actions (or lack of action), try to verbalize it in a constructive way.
Instead of saying, “You never help me clean the house!”, try putting it nicely. “I appreciate that you are clean and organized. But I feel like we need to divide the daily house chores more fairly.”
Choose the right time to confront an issue or discuss a problem with them. Directly after they get home from work is not a good time!
Sit down together and have a mutually respectful conversation. Don’t point fingers and make accusatory absolute statements.
To have a constructive and productive conversation, you both must agree to listen and speak with care.
Related Article: 10 Things You Should Never Say To Your Significant Other
8.) “If you don’t do this, I’m going to…”
Ultimatums are rarely used in a constructive conversation.
Basically, you are threatening them with consequences if they don’t do exactly what you want.
If you or or your partner are to the point where an ultimatum has to be given, you had better be ready to act on it!
Otherwise, it will simply be used as a manipulative tactic in every argument – something your partner will get use to and not take seriously.
Related Article: 10 Signs Your Relationship Has Communication Problems
Silence is typically used as a passive-aggressive tactic to anger the person you are talking to.
This tactic is often used by narcissists, to make their victims pay for not doing what they wanted.
This is called, the ‘Silent Treatment’.
Don’t be childish and refuse to talk things through, simply because you are offended or hurt.
It is natural to either fight back or ‘clam up’ when you feel personally attacked. However, you must fight the urge to ‘go silent’ and try to finish the conversation.
Related Article: 11 Signs You Are in a Relationship with a Narcissist
10.) “You are just going to have to get use to it.”
…in other words, “This is who I am and I am not changing for anyone – not even you.”
I get it, you want to be with someone who accepts you for who you are.
No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who wants to change them!
However, when you are in a committed relationship with someone, you absolutely must take their feelings into consideration.
As stated in #3, we all have different things that trigger us emotionally.
We also need to be receptive to our partner pointing out possible character flaws. We all have them and need to work through them!
11.) “I think we need a break.”
Do you really mean this?
If you are using this as a threat, you need to change your ways!
Taking a break from the relationship also means “breaking up”.
In essence, it gives your partner the permission to move on or rethink whether they really want to be with you.
Only say this if you really mean it! Your partner may just surprise you and give you the break you just threatened to take.
Words are powerful. They can be used to either heal or destroy your relationship.
Before responding or making a disparaging comment, think about the repercussions.
Consider if your words are constructive and wise.
Remember, mutual respect is an invaluable step towards solving a problem.