3 Statements That Break Down a Relationship

Posted on March 26, 2014

Have you ever wondered why it seems nobody cares or listens when you express an opinion? Have you noticed people become cranky when you tell them what you think?  Here are some statements that will produce trouble and a sampling of what your spouse, partner, child, coworker, or friend will be thinking and feeling when they hear you speak.

  •  “You Should I feel ashamed you have an expectation that I can’t or don’t want to reach. I hear your suggestion that my choices are wrong or worse, that I am essentially bad.  Maybe I am inferior to you and this is your way forcing me to understand how defective I am.  Also, it is painful for you tell me that I could have, should have, or would have.
  • “You Always/You Never  There was one time, in the last 30 years, when I did it differently.  It was last week and you didn’t notice.  I’m hurt because you are attacking me now and I don’t have a chance of gaining your favor. Please understand my struggle or dysfunction and walk alongside me.  If you need a change, please explore this problem with me.
  • “Your Mother “ FIGHTING WORDS! She drives me crazy, too. It doesn’t matter what she did, said, or how much I hate it.  It’s not okay to point it out.  I feel accused, like I did something wrong. I wonder if you feel that way about me, too. Maybe I am guilty by association to the person who gave birth to me and/or raised me.

“You” statements are never a good idea.  The listener will become defensive with the first word and hear nothing after that. Shaming statements are judgmental.  Give your listener information that they can process.  It is better to share “I” statements about what you are thinking and feeling. It is more effective to share your own emotional experience.

Written by: Cheryl Vance, LMFT

Cheryl is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Indianapolis. She specializes in relational issues such as personality, communication, and spiritual growth. If you would like to contact Cheryl, she can be reached at Cheryl@groffandassociates.com or 317-474-6448 ext. 106.

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==