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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· You always turn up late for appointments.

· You always ignore me when we go see your parents.

· You’re always short-tempered when you have to go out of town.


This phrase, and its variants belong to the “absolute” family of imperfect phrases, as does “you never”. Almost nothing is “always” true, particularly when it comes to human behavior. If you use this phrasing, you are, most probably, going to end up arguing about whether the person always does this thing, or just sometimes does this thing, and on and on. That’s a distraction from your point, right? If the person is often late for appointments, and it bothers you, there’s no point in arguing about how OFTEN it occurs. What you need is a constructive discussion about how that problem could be fixed.

“You always”, isn’t going to get you there, particularly because sentences beginning with “you always”, don’t usually end with commendations. Mostly they end with complaints.

 Make It Better:

Talk about the present and the future, and, do NOT exaggerate for effect, or to make a point.

· Alana, it’s important that we are on time for this appointment. The last time you were a few minutes late, and we need to start on time, OK?

· Joan, when we go to see your parents next week, I’d really appreciate it if you spend a bit more time with me while we’re there.

· Fred, I’ve noticed you get irritable before you travel on business. Does that sound right? 

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