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· This time, when you clean the bathroom, can you get it right?
· Can you get it right this time when you go to the store. Last time you forgot the milk.
People need to feel that you have confidence in their ability to get things done. This kind of phrase expresses a lack of confidence, and it erodes the bond between people. It’s particularly devastating to children who are in the process of developing their own sense of self.
While it doesn’t say specifically that you think the other person is stupid, incompetent, or sloppy, that’s the MEANING that most will take from the phrase.
Even worse, it’s passive-aggressive, and it’s likely to start a nasty argument that’s hard to resolve.
Make It Better:
If the other person has a history of making mistakes — let’s say, being forgetful, then a better course of action is to offer help. For example:
· I’ve made a list you can take with you when you go grocery shopping. It’s what I do, so I won’t miss anything.
If you make comments like this because you are frustrated or angry about other things, or you’ve saved up resentment, the problem is YOU, not the other person. Try to identify what IS bothering you before you uses phrases like this one, BEFORE you open your mouth.