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 of Threatening:

· Wait until your father (or mother) comes home.

· You just wait until others find out about this.

· Wait until your boss finds out you are a philandering fool.


Let’s look at the first example, used exclusively with children. First, as with all of the examples above, there’s an implied threat. After all, nobody uses these phrases to promise something GOOD. A parent uses this phrase because he or she doesn’t want to play the disciplinarian, and wants to leave it to their spouse. In that respect it’s an abdication of responsibility that can negatively affect the relationship with the spouse.

But what about the child? Do you want your child to look forward to the arrival of Mom or Dad — for it to be a positive event? Or do you want to teach your child that upon arrival, the other parent is going to be the “bad guy”, the disciplinarian. The problem here is that this threat creates fear in children. That’s not a great way to forge good relationships within the family.

Let’s look at this when used with adults. Once again, it’s a threat. Worse than that, it says: “HO HO HO, you are going to get yours, and I’m going to be SO happy when bad things happen to you.”

On top of that it’s a cowardly threat. If you say this it also sends the message that you are too weak or cowardly to do something about the situation, so you hope someone else will do the dirty work for you.

 Make It Better:

You can’t make it better. It’s a threat. If you care about someone, don’t threaten. 

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