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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 Examples When Telling Someone To Relax Backfires:

· Relax!

· Hey, relax, you’re making this into something way more serious than it has to be.

· Relax, it’s no big deal.


If you use this word or phrase, you are either trying to help the other person feel less stress, or you are driven by your own discomfort with the person’s hyper, anxious, or otherwise upset behavior. Or both.

In either case, this phrase just doesn’t work.

In fact it’s more likely to increase the other person’s stress, AND create an argument about whether he or she is “unrelaxed”. In that respect it’s like telling someone to “calm down”.

Even if your intent is to help. There’s no help attached to this phrase. In the second and third examples above, you will see that there’s also an attempt to invalidate the person’s reactions.

 Make It Better:

If you want to help, do helpful things. Make relaxation something to share, not something that rests entirely on the other person’s shoulders.

· Rob, we probably both need to relax, so let’s go for a walk.

· You look a bit tense. Want a quick neck massage?

· I know you’re upset about , but let’s think about whether the situation is quite so serious. 

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