20 Phrases That Are Poison to Your Relationship

“It’s Not That Big of a Deal”

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You may say this in the most innocent of ways, but trivializing something your partner or friend is complaining about is one way to gaslight. Ensure that you always have conversations about everything, just as urgently and importantly as your partner or friend sees them.

“You Don’t Deserve Me”

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Saying this is you putting your partner beneath you. It’s a way to say you’re more important to the relationship, which may affect your partner’s self-esteem or comfort with you. In the case where you tell your partner that you don’t deserve them, however, you’re also putting yourself beneath them—giving them relevance that can be misused.

“Calm down”

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Unless you’re trying to tell your partner to relax to deal with a stressful situation, the statement “calm down” possibly undermines their feelings. It’s another phrase gaslighters use to trivialize complaints and make their partners feel like they are unnecessarily overreacting.

“You’re Being Crazy”

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In trying to explain the ways of a gaslighter, Business Insider shares that a common trait is “having them accuse you of being crazy.” Telling your partner he or she is crazy for a complaint they make may be interpreted as your way of manipulating reality. There could be real issues with your relationship afterward.

“Everything’s Fine”

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Always saying that everything’s fine, even when you’re in visible distress, can affect the amount of care your partner shows you. It’s a form of passive aggressiveness that hinders clear and open communication with your partner, which may make your partner feel unimportant or out of your life.

“I Know”

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Telling your partner that you already know something they’re eager to tell you about can make them stop sharing altogether. This is especially true if it’s a common occurrence when sharing information with you. Instead, you always want to listen to keep communication lines open.

“Shut Up”

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Unless it’s understood to be a playful joke, you shouldn’t seriously tell your partner to shut up. You’re simply saying his or her opinion doesn’t matter enough to be heard by anyone. You could end up with your partner stonewalling you—an unintentional, relationship-threatening response that Verywell Mind says could be a way for them to cope with difficult scenarios.

“It’s Always You”

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Telling your partner that they are always the problem or cause of arguments has a terrible effect on your relationship. This is especially true if you never take accountability for your own contributions to messy situations but instead manipulatively blame them for the little mistakes they made.

“You Don’t Do Anything All Day”

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Statements that suggest your partner doesn’t make valuable use of their time can have effects on their self-esteem. It’s even more damaging when he or she tries their best in their career, but yours seems better. In this case, telling your partner they do nothing or to “get a real job” only belittles their efforts.

“You’re Nothing Without Me”

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Telling your partner they don’t amount to anything if you’re not in the picture is a direct hit on his or her self-worth. It’s a narcissistic statement of you putting yourself above them, and it makes your partner or friend question their relevance in the relationship.

“You’re Stupid”

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Statements like “that’s stupid” or “don’t be an idiot” hurt feelings deeply and could push anyone away from you. Understand that you wouldn’t always see or understand things the same way as your partner, and telling them their opinion is stupid undermines how much you respect or value them.

“I Hate You”

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Even when said in the heat of an argument, saying that you hate or dislike your partner will plant a seed of wariness in his or her heart. Statements like this are understood to stem from an already existing contempt toward them. It can push partners to leave a relationship since you apparently don’t love them wholeheartedly.

“You’re a Bad Person”

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It’s one thing to make your partner aware of the terrible things they do, and it’s another to exploit their respect for your opinion to attack their personality. Calling someone bad for minor inconveniences could ruin how he or she perceives themselves and could also be seen as what it is—manipulative.

“You’re Too Needy”

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As Business Insider explains, everyone knows that a needy person can be off-putting and tries not to be that person. Telling your partner they’re too needy of attention or that they are pestering you only reduces how comfortable they feel being with you or sharing things with you. This is just the beginning of dying communication between both parties.

“I Can’t Deal With This”

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When you tell your partner you’re over or done with arguments with them, you subtly warn about the end of the relationship. Yes, arguments can be annoying. But it’s best to watch how you excuse yourself from them so you don’t make partners insecure about a relationship.

“Stop Being Pathetic”

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Calling your partner pathetic is showing your disgust for their behavior or attributes. It could be interpreted that you don’t love them for who they are or that you’re undermining their feelings (if it’s said during a complaint). Never call your partner pathetic (or any other strong name-call) for something you don’t like about them.

“Remember What You Did During…”

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Bringing up the past mistakes of your partner is like reawakening an experience they have chosen to put past themselves. As Psych Central explains, persistently dwelling on past events, especially if they’re negative, can cause anyone distress. Many people bring up the past to remind their partners that they aren’t perfect, just to get out of being caught doing something wrong.

“You’re Lying”

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Claiming your partner is telling lies directly indicates the presence of trust issues in the relationship. Of course, there are blatant lies that you need to call out. But merely calling them a liar without evidence to back your claim up is a gamble with consequences if they’re actually telling the truth.

“You’ve Changed”

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Statements like “you’ve changed” or “you’re not who you used to be” may affect how your partner perceives himself or herself. It may also mean you don’t like who they have grown to be over the months or years, and you are put off by who they are now.

“I Don’t Care”

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Whether it’s toward a need of theirs or a complaint about your action, it’s never okay to tell your partner you don’t care about what they have to say. It underlines that you don’t care about their feelings or interests, and you could drive him or her into the arms of someone else—where they feel heard.

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