Two Words That Damage Your Relationships

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The way you communicate with another (romantic partner, friend or family member) can make all the difference in creating connections. Some language can be deeply challenging and can force a person to recoil while other language invites connection.

In my over 20 years of coaching individuals and couples I have noticed two such words that people tend to use without understanding the emotional and psychological imprint on yourself or another. Paying close attention to how and when you use these words can make all the difference in creating intimacy, trust and safety and building self-esteem. Let’s examine these words:

Never – This word literally means at no time in the past or future, on no occasion, not ever and without exception. Always – this word literally means all the time, on all occasions without exception.

Examine the difference in these phrases:

“You NEVER keep you word!” OR “You often do not keep your word.” “I am NEVER going to trust anything you say!” OR “It is challenging to trust anything you say.”

“You ALWAYS disrespect me.” OR “You often disrespect me.” “I am ALWAYS make the wrong decision.” OR “I have a pattern of making the wrong decision.”

How does each of these phrases feel to you when you read them? Which of these sentences is more expansive and invites openness and receptivity?

People often use the words “ALWAYS” or “NEVER” for dramatic effect or when they are emotionally charged. They want to emphasize a point they are making. In everyday conversation, when someone says that “he always says that” or “I never look good in that outfit,” it is not usually understood not to be taken literally. But using these absolute, extreme phrases as a habit– whether said to yourself or another – can still have a diminishing impact on the psyche.

Consciously or unconsciously using the absolute expressions “ALWAYS” and “NEVER” contributes to all-or-nothing, black and white thinking. This interprets situations in inaccurate extremes and does not honor the true complexity and subtly of life. Possibility is squelched.

Using extremes can quickly detract from your ability to communicate effectively or invite intimacy. It can also damage self-confidence and create defensiveness. Using “ALWAYS” or “NEVER” when expressing any feelings about ourselves or others often continues a cycle of disparagement and can be especially damaging to the Wounded Inner Child.

In any relationship extremes can erode self-esteem and create mistrust. Because when unraveled the behavior is usually a judgmental, oppressive and potentially disempowering veiled tactic of the Critical Inner Parent (Shadow Inner Adult) which does not empower on any level.

But most of all it, this language leaves little space for anyone to have the opportunity to recreate themselves. Because in the absolute nature of anything there is no exception, and you are condemned to relive past behavior without the possibility of change.

Examine your usage of these phrases and be conscious of how these they can impact your inner and outer relationships. Change is the only constant in the Universe. Choose to use expansive language and you remain open to the possibility of more, other and beyond.

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As a Holistic Life, Business and Relationship Coach, Markus has accumulated over 40,000 hours of coaching celebrities, entrepreneurs, businesses, couples and individuals for over 20 years and has created the groundbreaking IRAM: A Map for Creating Conscious Relationships.He facilitates events worldwide and is a regularly featured expert guest and speaker on podcasts and summits. Using an integrated approach of life coaching, psychology, mindset, alternative modalities and meditation practices, he has changed the lives of thousands by teaching how to transform all your relationships from the inside out.

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