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 give up.

· We’ve talked until I’m blue in the face, so that’s it. I give up.

· I’m giving up, this is nuts.

· I give up. Trying to coordinate schedules with you is a waste of time.

· I give up. I can get this work done much faster if I don’t have to work with a team of people.



This makes our ten worst phrases list because of its ambiguity and inherent cruelty. Odds are you don’t use this intentionally to cause pain and anguish to those close to you, but that is often the effect it has. Why?

Relationships work when there is a sense of stability and commitment, such that both people feel that the other isn’t going to “go away”. Let’s face it. If you feel your “other” is going to walk out or “give up” at any moment, why continue to work out the problems that always occur in relationships.

When you combine the ambiguity of “I give up” with the fear and anxiety of losing someone from one’s life, it’s downright cruel to even accidentally suggest you might be giving up completely, even for a minute.

The other person doesn’t know what you mean. He or she cannot possibly know whether you just want to stop the conversation for a few minutes, or you are heading upstairs to pack your bags? Your “other” is going to think the worst, and that’s going to make it much much harder to continue any useful conversation.

It’s understandable that you might say such a thing when upset, but that doesn’t change the impact on someone you claim you care about.

Certainly, if you are telling someone you are giving up on restoring your vintage car, that’s different, because you are making it perfectly clear what you are giving up ON. No anguish. No cruelty.

 Make It Better:

If this phrase slips out in conversation, your best step is to apologize and clarify your meaning if necessary.

· John: Oh, Cripee, I give up.
Mary: So that’s it then, you’re just throwing in the towel?
John: I’m sorry, Mary, I didn’t mean I’m giving up on us. I’d just like a few minutes to calm myself down, because I’m so frustrated!!!

 Unless, of course, you ARE headed upstairs to pack your bags and head out the door. In which case, you probably don’t care much about being cruel, but perhaps you should. What goes around comes around, yes?

Here are a few more better phrases:

· I’m getting frustrated trying to set up a meeting with you. If the meeting is absolutely necessary, both of us need to find the time.

· I’d like to work on this by myself, and then I’ll come back and present my solution to the rest of the team. How does that sound? 

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