Imperfect Phrases For Relationships

101 COMMON Things You Should Never Say TO Someone Important To You...And What To Say Instead

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Robert's books have sold over 300 thousand copies worldwide, and have been translated into Chinese, French, German and Japanese.

He holds a Masters Degree in Applied Psychology, and has taught clinical and counselling psychology at the college level.

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· I don't make those kinds of mistakes, so don’t blame me if it went wrong.

· I don’t make those kinds of mistakes, so it must be you who messed this up.



There are two problems with these statements. First, they convey that you couldn’t possibly be wrong — that at least on this matter, you are perfect. That tends to cause defensiveness, and sidetracking into off-topic arguments.

Second, the words tacked on to the end of these sentences is worse. The speaker comes across as trying to avoid any kind of responsibility and trying to shift responsibility and blame to the other person.


Make It Better:

Don’t put yourself in the position of having to defend your “perfection”, because you can’t. Besides, it’s a sidetrack. Soften your responses with QUALIFIERS (capitalized in the examples below, AND don’t try to turn the tables and blame the other person. What’s your goal? To solve the problem, or to win the argument about who is to blame?

· I don’t USUALLY make those kinds of mistakes, but it’s always possible.

· It probably doesn’t matter who made the mistake...maybe we can focus on how to fix it.

· Maybe we can figure out how to prevent it from happening again, no matter who made the mistake.

· I THINK I did it properly, but I could have made the mistake.




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