These 8 phrases poison love: a Harvard psychologist points out the harbingers of a breakup
Harvard-trained psychologist Dr Courtney Warren has identified eight toxic phrases that can gradually destroy love. According to her, relationships quickly deteriorate when one or both partners speak to each other with disdain.
This is dangerous because it demonstrates a position of superiority, Warren writes in an article for CNBC. In her opinion, such phrases can lead to a couple's collapse.
"You don't deserve me"
This phrase, or, for example, "You're lucky I put up with you at all," reflects contempt and tells your partner that you think they are inferior to you, which can damage their self-esteem.
Instead, it's better to say, "It's hard for me to see us as a partner right now" or "I think you are less valuable than me and I need to work on that." Say how you feel in a calm and honest way.
"Stop asking if I'm okay. Everything is fine" (when it's not)
The passive-aggressive model of communication prevents partners from talking about their problems directly and openly. This makes conflict resolution more difficult and can make both parties feel insecure, the author believes.
Instead, it's better to say: "I'm very upset, but I'm not ready to talk about it yet." Don't ignore your problems, but take the time to face them and think about them.
Calling someone names is easier than appreciating who they are: a person with many characteristics, some of which we may not like.
Instead, it's better to say, "I don't like the way you handled this situation." Express exactly what you didn't like and why it bothers you.
"I hate you"
This phrase, which reflects how you feel in an intense emotional moment, but not in general, is damaging to relationships. As a result, it creates insecurity even in good moments. Your partner may think: "Does he/she really love me right now if he/she said he/she hated me last week?"
Instead, it's better to say, "It's hard for me to be around you right now." Take a moment to calm down before saying something untrue, even if it seems true at the moment, the psychologist recommends.
"You're a bad parent"
This phrase undermines trust. For example, if you are trying your best to discipline your child, your partner might say, "You spoil him too much, and that's because your mother spoilt you too."
Instead, it's better to say, "I think this situation is bringing up issues from your past. How can we work through them together?" Respectfully acknowledge your partner's vulnerabilities and communicate in a way that doesn't come across as an attack.
"You're out of your mind"
Phrases that manipulate or distort reality to make your partner doubt themselves are called "gaslighting". For example, in defence, you might say: "You're delusional. This problem is in your head".
Instead, it's better to say, "I think your reaction to this situation is only making it worse." Express constructively what you don't like about your partner's actions, rather than trying to manipulate them into behaving the way you want them to, Warren advises.
"You're so demanding"
When you say that your partner annoys you, suffocates you, or is generally boring, it means that their needs don't matter.
What to say instead: "I can see that you want my attention, but I feel like I'm suffocating and I need some space."
"I've had enough"
Words that threaten the relationship, such as "I'm leaving", "I've had enough" or "I want to break up", create instability and insecurity. It can be difficult for your partner to trust you if you feel like you're at risk of running away, and this limits intimacy.
What to say instead: "I'm really upset right now and I need to get some rest" or "We need to have a serious talk about our relationship".
How strong couples communicate
The psychologist names three things that people do in healthy relationships.
1) Use "I" messages: instead of focusing on your partner and pointing out their mistakes or shortcomings, talk about your feelings, sensations and observations.
2. Say "thank you": talk about what you like and appreciate about your partner as often as possible to help strengthen the bond.
3. Take responsibility: apologise for your role in the dysfunction of the relationship and try to show your best side.
As OBOZREVATEL reported earlier, the psychologist voiced the top tips on how to stop being offended and effectively resolve conflicts. In addition, she named secret phrases that can attract wealth and success in life.