Do you plan regular dating nights with your partner, appreciate his little daily efforts and don’t touch the phone when you’re alone? Congratulations – this is the beginning of a great relationship. But you have to work hard in the relationship, and if you want to improve your own, you’ll want to pay attention to the words you use, experts say. Particular attention should be paid to one word, which therapists do not recommend if you want to strengthen your bond. The word is “should”.
“I see that many couples fall into the ‘should’ trap,” says Dr. Lorena Cook . “It follows from their internal judgment, while also incorporating perceived judgments or comparisons with other couples or society as a whole.”
PS: The word “should not” is not very good either.
Examples include the phrase, “You shouldn’t spend so much time playing video games,” or, “You should do more.”
WHY IS THIS WORD SO PROBLEMATIC?
According to the psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein, when we think of our other half in the context of “should”, or instead of receiving countless “you should”, negative energy is created, and over time it can be toxic to any relationship, especially loving.
Why is this one word a relationship breaker? This creates unequal dynamics, says Dr. Cook. “For example, when one partner tells the other what he or she should ‘do’, he or she plays an unequivocal role, while sending a signal to the partner that he or she is a degree lower in the relationship,” she explains.
Of course, it’s just one small word (which we’ve all more or less said to our loved ones), but using it too often can have a negative effect – losing trust in a relationship.
WHAT TO USE INSTEAD?
If you are unhappy with what your partner is doing, you should definitely not keep it to yourself. But instead of telling the other what he “should” or “shouldn’t” do, Dr. Bernstein suggests using the word “would” instead.
For example, instead of saying, “You should have known what I meant,” you could try, “I want you to understand me more.” Or, instead of saying “you shouldn’t drive so fast”, rephrase it like this: “I’d like you to drive slower.”
It is a simple change, but according to Dr. According to Bernstein, this change can help prevent shame – the mega “relationship killer”. “Taking the time to be at the moment, to capture your toxic thoughts and challenge or change them will put you and your partner at a much higher level in your relationship.”