Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Experts reveal the one word you should never use when fighting with your partner

the break up movie still.jpg

It’s no secret that certain phrases can trigger conflict in relationships, with many pointing out that the worst offender is “I’m sorry if…”.

Unsurprisingly, using the “if” component is problematic in an argument, as it dismisses your partner’s grievances out of turn – and implies that your apology isn’t all that genuine.

However it seems as if there’s a seemingly innocuous word which could prove to be even more toxic than “if” or any four-letter insult – especially if you hurl it at your partner during the heat of the moment.

Yup, you guessed it; it’s “should”. As in, “you should have thought about that in the first place”, or “you should know that already”.

Writing in Psychology Today, Jeffrey Bernstein explained: “We tend to “should” all over our partners. Even if we think we’re only doing so in the privacy of our own minds, it can come out in our tone or actions.

“Thinking should about someone you love, or being on the receiving end of a ‘should,’ creates negative energy and, over time, can be toxic for any relationship, especially a loving one.”

Couple arguing on sofa

Some words can prove toxic to relationships - especially if used during an argument.

He added that we shouldn’t even use the word in the privacy of our own minds during an argument, as it can create negative energy over time – and causes your relationship to become a toxic one.

So how should we work to combat the classic “shoulda coulda woulda” situation?

With a little clever rephrasing, that’s how.

“Instead of  ‘you should know how I feel,’ try [thinking and] saying ‘I would like you to please hear me out on this’,” he said.

“Instead of ‘you shouldn’t bring that up,’ try [thinking and] saying ‘I would like to consider what you are saying. Please let me sit with it for a little while before I respond.’”

Which sounds simple enough on paper, but we imagine may prove to be a little tricky when you’re arguing about why your partner failed to take the bins out – as requested.

“You should have done it when I told you to,” would have to become a slightly less strict-sounding “I would like you to please listen to my diatribe on why good bin etiquette is so very, very important to me.”

However, there’s no denying that taking the time to notice your toxic thoughts – and address them accordingly – would prove positive to your relationship.

If you need a little more help, check out the five words and phrases that trigger conflict in relationships, and trap us in a repetitive cycle which damages our intimacy levels and understanding of one another.

Images: iStock, Universal Pictures' The Break-Up

Related

notebook - crying scene.jpg

10 unrealistic love lessons we learned watching Nicholas Sparks films

iStock_89857795_LARGE.jpg

Revealed: The surprising sexual benefits of kindness and charity

amanda 3 edit.jpg

Why I chose to become a single mum through IVF

maxresdefault.jpg

How sexism could be ruining your sex life

10_rt.jpg

Why do some of our closest friends often become our worst enemies?

iStock_27191642_MEDIUM.jpg

Drinking with your partner could be good for your relationship

rexfeatures_4588784b.jpg

Can we have it all? Famous women on the question of work-life balance

iStock_67592639_LARGE.jpg

Experts say this is the sure-fire sign your relationship is in trouble

moana.jpg

Disney’s Moana will be very different to the other princesses

More

The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017