In today's quick dump episode, I share 5 statements I decided to stop making to my partner that changed the dynamic of our relationship.
Most of the time, you don't even realize how the words you choose can come across. Even when you feel like you're being really clear or you mean what you're saying in the moment, these 5 statements are usually a signal to disaster.
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[00:00:00] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Does this sound like a conversation that's happened between you and your partner? They ask you what's wrong? Nothing. What's wrong? Nothing, I'm fine. I know when something's wrong, what is it? And then you blurt out whatever it is that's wrong with you. Does this sound familiar? Welcome to a quick dump episode of Jealousy Junkie.
[00:00:30] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I'm Shanenn Bryant, former extreme jealous girl, sharing my experiences to help you go from jealous, fearful, and anxious in your relationship to calm and confident.
[00:00:43] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Your choice of words can completely change the dynamic of a conversation. And there are certain phrases or words that you may not even be aware come across in a negative way. And sometimes you know exactly what you're doing when you say it.
[00:01:00] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Today I'm sharing five things you should stop saying to your partner.
[00:01:06] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Number one. Stop saying nothing's wrong, or "I'm fine" when you're not.
[00:01:12] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I used to do this all the time and trust me, it doesn't typically lead to anything good, and you've probably experienced that as well. Yet, you keep saying it. Why?
[00:01:24] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Well, there are a few reasons that you might be saying "I'm fine" or "nothing" when you're asked if something's wrong. One, you are intentionally giving your partner the cold shoulder, so you're in a sense, putting them on notice that they should be tense about what they might have done to upset you or your way of saying you should know what's wrong.
[00:01:48] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Like, "oh please, like you don't know what you di. SAying nothing's wrong, or, I'm fine when it's crystal clear, that's not the case, just adds more drama to the situation. It's a surefire way to make your partner feel uncomfortable, anxious, or shut down because they know more than likely there's a fight coming.
[00:02:13] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: It also gets a little manipulative when you know what's wrong, but you won't say it. But you want them to guess it, but you act like you don't wanna talk about it, but you really do. You're just putting them through a whole song and dance, trying to figure out what's wrong, what they did, what could have happened.
[00:02:35] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And you know, think about a time when someone text you or called you and said, oh my gosh, I've got something to tell you, but I can't tell you right now.
I'll call you later and tell. The suspense is unreal. I almost never let a friend get away with that. No way. I wanna know right now, and I don't even know if it's good or bad yet. I just know I wanna know and I wanna know right now. Imagine how your partner feels when you continuously keep them in suspense, and they know it's not good.
[00:03:08] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If you're trying to keep it to yourself because you're working on improving your reactions to things or you're trying to grow, that's fantastic. There's just a little bit better way to handle it. So instead of giving them the cold shoulder or saying, I'm fine, a better approach is to say something like, I've just got a lot on my mind right now that I'm trying to work through. I appreciate you asking. We can definitely talk about it later time.
[00:03:37] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: You know, let me just process this. I've just got stuff on my mind, or you know, I'm just thinking through some things right now. Sorry for being quiet. Most of the time, this is gonna appease your partner and it gives you time to work through whatever really is bothering you. Gives you time to choose your non accusatory words to express what you're upset about instead of eventually blurting it out without any self-regulation.
[00:04:06] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: But whatever you do, stop saying you're fine. When you're not fine Giving the cold shoulder will cause them to stop asking, which you may internalize in the future is that they don't care about you or they don't care about your feelings, which then just keeps you in this vicious cycle. So stop saying I'm fine or nothing's wrong when you're not.
[00:04:30] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Number two, stop using absolute words like never, always, none, every. When you start out with language, like you never, you always, every time, it really hurts your case even if you do have a point.
Hearing absolute statements like this is gonna put the other person on the defense immediately, and it's an untrue statement. More often than not, nothing is ever, never, always none or every. So just some quick examples of things you can say instead.
Rather than saying you never, you can say it's rare or hardly. So instead of you never wanna spend time with me anymore, you can say, It's rare we spend time together, or we hardly get to spend time together.
[00:05:21] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Replace the word always with usually or frequently. This can also be used for the word never. Number three, stop setting boundaries out of anger and telling your partner they can't. Don't set a boundary that you can't withhold or stand up to. And most of the time when we set them in anger, we're gonna falter on them.
[00:05:44] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: We're not gonna follow through with it because boundaries are not about the other person. Boundaries are for you. They're not for your partner. Your partner can do whatever they want. The question is, what will you accept? Are you strong enough in that particular moment to uphold the boundary you just blurted out in anger if they do in fact cross it?
[00:06:06] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Boundaries can often be used more as a threat in a relationship, not really a non-negotiable. So, if you do X again, I'll leave, or if you keep doing X, I'm not gonna stick around anymore.
[00:06:21] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If you're not prepared to end the relationship or you're not prepared to carry out that threat of the boundary, consider your wording of the boundary to not be an all or nothing cuz blurting out a boundary that you're not prepared to withhold is a surefire way to condition the other person to not take it serious; that you won't follow through in the future. So try not to set boundaries out of anger. You can remind of a boundary, but just make sure that you're willing to uphold that boundary.
[00:06:58] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: Number four, you should try to avoid talking negative about their friends and family. I have definitely had relationships where my partner's friends were single, always saying vulgar things, sending them raunchy pictures of women. And I'd make rude remarks if that friend texted my partner or called, or if they were gonna go hang out together.
[00:07:20] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: However, these may be friendships that your partners had since early childhood. So, try to use some self-regulation before speaking about their friends and family. And remember your partners not them. So just because their friend acts a certain way or says things that you find inappropriate, doesn't mean that your partner displays that same behavior.
[00:07:44] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And yes, I thought, well, they must be okay with it because they're still friends with them and they're still hanging out with them. But if you look at it from the other side, from your side, you may have a friend or a coworker that you go to lunch with or someone that you talk on the phone to occasionally that you may not agree with everything that they do or say, but you don't cut off ties with them.
If it is too much for you to handle, again, remember you can set boundaries for yourself and what you will accept but the boundary is still for you and not for your partner. And this is a tough one I know. So you have to just handle it with a little bit of care and really determine if that friendship or things that are happening with that friendship iS a true detriment to your relationship?
[00:08:37] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If so, then absolutely have the conversation with your partner. Still trying to leave that trash talk out of it but discuss it from more of how you feel or how it makes you feel.
[00:08:51] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: And then number five, you probably shouldn't say to your partner in the heat of your insecurities, I wish you were more..... (dot,dot,dot)
[00:09:02] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: That one stings most likely. You're saying it of course, to get them to do something that you want. I wish you were more romantic. I wish you were more affectionate. I wish you were more understanding or caring or loving. This is really telling your partner that they don't measure up and when someone feels defeated, they will likely give up.
[00:09:26] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: No one wants to hear that they're not enough. Even if your partner doesn't show much emotion, hearing that they're not good enough for you at something will likely cause an argument or a major shutdown from them. I used to say this to my husband all the time that I wish you were more romantic.
[00:09:46] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: I had to really go back and think about what I was saying and what that meant to him. Not only from making him feel like he wasn't measuring up, but what did I mean by romantic? So to him, changing my oil is essentially romantic. It's his way of showing me that he cares about me and wants to take care of me.
[00:10:11] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: In my mind, when I say romantic, I mean make dinner and light candles and snuggle up together, but that's not what I was saying. Nor was me wanting to be close to him what was coming across. When I'm saying I wish you were more, whatever, what was coming across is you don't measure up. It's important to remember that we speak different languages and what something means to you could be different for your partner. Here's something else to consider about this one.
[00:10:44] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: What I realized is, was it so much about him making dinner and lighting the candles that was so important to me, or was I just looking for him to devote more time with me or to get a little bit of time with him? So I removed the specifics out of it. Then it didn't have to be dinner and candles, but it could be that I just went over and sat on his lap while watching tv and we just talked for a few.
Not having the pressure of it needing to be so specific was a huge weight off both of us really. I wasn't constantly disappointed, and he wasn't constantly feeling like he didn't measure up. Now, I'm not saying to lower your standards or your expectations.
[00:11:32] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If your partner planning a night out for you is something that you specifically want, just be clear in that communication. And maybe approach it from a, I would like more romantic dinners out where you plan the night and you pick the restaurant instead of saying, I wish you were more... fill in the blank.
[00:11:54] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: That's it. Those are the five things I wanted to share to stop saying to your partner today. That'll do it for this quick dump episode of Jealousy Junkie.
[00:12:04] Shanenn Bryant - Jealousy Junkie: If you're struggling with jealousy or insecurity in your relationship, schedule a Clarity Call with me and see how I can help. The link to schedule is in the show notes. Until next time, take care. And remember, you're not alone.