‘Toxic’: Experts Say You Should Never Use This Word In An Argument With Your Other Half

We've definitely pulled this one out a few times ourselves.

Couple arguing

Arguments are par for the course in any relationship. In fact, having the odd fight or two with your beau is a healthy and normal part of being together, but it’s how you fight that is of particular importance.

And there’s one word in particular that could be taking your arguments into toxic territory.

In a piece for Psychology Today, psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein reveals that the no-go word is ‘should’, and apparently lots of us are guilty of using it mid-fight.

But why’s it’s such a bad word?

Well Bernstein explains that “this word engenders a controlling, judgmental dynamic. 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.”

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He adds that it also has connotations of shame and internalised resentment too.

So what, er, should you be replacing it with?

Well, Bernstein advises that ‘I would like’ is a good alternative.

He offers this example: “Instead of [saying], ‘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.”

One to remember the next time you and your SO are having a massive row over what documentary you should watch on Netflix.


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