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.

You can browse his Amazon Author page by clicking the graphic above.


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There you go. 101 phrases you should either completely eliminate from your vocabulary, or modify extensively so they are less likely to cause arguments with no purpose or positive outcomes.

One thing that‟s different about this book is it doesn‟t include long lectures about communica-tion theory. The only general rules presented have been in Chapter 3—Your Guiding Principles, be-cause we believe it‟s far better to look at very specific things people say, and THEN extract more general rules.

By now, you‟ve read many of the 101 phrases, and you‟ve no doubt noticed that there are very persistent, and common threads that tie together many of the imperfect phrases, and cause them to be damaging.

Now it‟s time to discuss those common threads about what makes these, and many other phrases, toxic. If you understand the commonal-ities, you‟ll be able to evaluate, on your own, other phrases you need to stop using. There are certainly many others.

The Common Threads  

  • Absolutes (always, never, everyone) are argu-ment starters. They end up distracting both of you from the issue that needs to be discussed, by pushing you to discuss whether that issue happens “always” or “never”.  
  • Fighting back (counter-attacking) and spending time defending yourself won‟t create solu-tions, and may even help to avoid fixing problems. They sidetrack discussions into arguments.  
  • Particularly when emotions are involved, the use of YOU phrases will be seen as attacking, or an attempt to avoid responsibility.  
  • It‟s normal to lapse into more childish meth-ods of dealing with disagreement and insult. We all do it on occasion. Many imperfect phrases are “blurted out” without thinking. When upset, the first responses are almost always destructive to the relationship — the gut responses.  
  • Many imperfect phrases are used so that we don‟t feel stupid in our own eyes, and that‟s why we will use phrases that tell both our-selves, and the other person that we aren‟t responsible.  

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