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 never asked…

· You never asked so I didn’t mention it.

· If you wanted to know, you should have asked and I would have told you.


In any relationship, BOTH parties have a shared and individual responsibility to communicate important things to each other.

These phrases send the message that it’s the OTHER person who is responsible for “pulling information from you”, and worse, these phrases are often used to justify “lying by omission”. Somehow we’re better at rationalizing not telling someone something, and don’t see doing so as lying, but relationships can’t thrive in situations where things are withheld.

You may withhold information and respond to your partner by saying “you never asked”, and you may even do so with good intent — sparing someone some pain, or trying to avoid an argument, but it still doesn’t make for a solid long lasting relationship.

What’s worse is that these phrases suggest you are playing some sort of “game”, where only you know the rules. That sets up mistrust, and it can be manipulative.

 Make It Better:

If you neglect to tell the other person something, and they question you on it, here are some better phrases.

· I’m sorry I didn’t mention it to you. I forgot.

 Note: Don’t use this if it’s false, and don’t use it as an excuse. Next time remember to “mention it”, since it’s obviously important to the other person.

· I didn’t mention it because I didn’t want to burden you with the problem. Perhaps I was wrong? Should I have talked to you about it?

· I’m sorry. In future, would you like me to tell you when….

· You seemed so busy, and I didn’t think it was that important, but next time, I’ll be sure to keep you informed.

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