We’ve all been there, said things in the heat of the moment that we soon regret saying. But intense arguments – where you both say things that are not totally true or is being exaggerated for emphasis can ruin a relationship quickly. Worse, the relationship can die a slow, agonizing death.
If you want to avoid long-term damage to your relationship but still communicate what you are feeling, then the following two words should only be used if they are completely accurate.
The two words are “always” and “never.”
In a relationship, these words rarely depict a person’s true action or inaction.
Take these two statements:
“You’re always late!” Verse, “I wish you would make more of an effort to be on time.”
“You never support me!” Verse, I don’t feel supported, that you have my back when it’s time to make important decisions. I’d really appreciate it if you would be more involved.”
Using always or never tells your partner that to you, they can’t do anything right. They feel like “Why should I try when I know I won’t be given credit for it.”
If you want a healthy relationship, remove “always” and “never” from your relationship vocabulary. Instead, try “frequently” or “often.” Stay focused on the present, address the issue that initiated the argument and be specific about what you want to happen.
“It upset me that you were late today. This is a frequent occurrence, but I know you can do better.”