All couples argue, but there are ways to work through conflict without making it worse.
There’s one word that seems to really get people upset when it’s used during the heat of the moment: “should.” It digs into your partner, like when you say, “you should have thought about that in the first place” or “you should know that already.”
Psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein says that “should” can be toxic for a relationship over time, creating expectations for your partner, and you bring it up whenever you say “should”, with it being a reminder that they’re not meeting that expectation. It can be a hard habit to break, so how do we stop saying it? He suggests rephrasing and says, “Instead of ‘you should know how I feel,’ try saying ‘I would like you to hear me out on this please.’”
Sure, it sounds simple now, but when you’re about to flip out on your significant other for something, it may take some practice to reel in those “shoulds.” But taking the time to be mindful can help you catch your toxic thoughts and words and changing them can take your relationship to a more positive place.
Have you used “should” in an argument and had it make things worse? Do you try to avoid saying “should?” Let us know @themrlshow and if you are gonna try and cut the “shoulds” out of your speech.