Dr. Wendy After Dark

Dr. Wendy After Dark

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Never Say These in Your Relationship

Depressed man turn back ignoring angry screaming woman

Photo: fizkes / iStock / Getty Images

1. Dismissing When someone has a partner who doesn’t listen, ignores, or gas lights, it causes fear and selfdoubt in the partner who is being erased.

  • “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
  • “I never said that to you. You just make things up.”
  • “Why do you keep thinking I’m trying to hurt you? I’ve never done anything to make you feel that way. It’s all in your head, like always.”

2. Scolding Treating a partner like a child, scolding and criticizing them to reduce their self-esteem and gain control.

  • “How many times do I have to tell you and you still keep doing it? What is wrong with you?”
  • “You’re acting like a spoiled child.”
  • “Another stupid decision. What is wrong with you?”
  • “You’ve always been immature. That’s not ever going to change.”

3. Always and Never Have you ever been on the other end of someone telling you that what you have to offer is irrelevant? And when you attempt to defend yourself, they double down and make you feel that you can never be good enough no matter what you do?

  • “You’ll just never get it, so just stop trying.”
  • “Why do I ever trust you to do things the right way when you always let me down?”

4. Shaming Telling a person that they did something wrong that they should be embarrassed about or that they are stupid or behaving in an unacceptable manner tells that person that they cannot do anything right and need to be “fixed.” This is a strategy meant to control the other partner’s behavior. Using the opinions of others who agree with them to emphasize that they are right, or threaten exposure that will embarrass or humiliate.

  • “How do you think other people would feel about you if they knew you could act this way?”
  • “You should be ashamed of yourself.”
  • “You wouldn’t get yourself in so much trouble if you’d just listen to me.”
  • “Sure I’ll help you but it’ll cost you. Better not to do this again.”

5. Using Tender Spots Against to Hurt Couples that have been together for a while are likely to have shared personal stories they have not told others. They are supposed to be sacred and not used to win an argument or make another feel exposed.

  • “Your mother did this exact crazy thing to your father. No wonder he left her.”
  • “You think you’re so hot, but I’ve had better.”
  • “You’ll do anything just to be wanted because you were dumped as a kid, right?”
  • “Don’t keep acting so innocent. I know what you’ve done in the past.”

6. Threats Whether empty or sincere, using threats to get another to bend to your will is a certain destroyer of any intimacy in a relationship. They only work when the other person is truly terrified that the threats will actually manifest. The person using threats to control is doing whatever they can to stay in power.

  • “I don’t know why I stay in this relationship. I get nothing out of it.”
  • “You keep acting this way and you’ll never see me again.”
  • “How about I just tell people who you really are? I could sabotage every relationship that matters to you if I want to.”
  • “Keep doing that and you’re never going to get what you want from me.”

For more information check out Psychology Today

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