Words are so powerful.  And once they come flying out of your mouth they cannot be taken back.  This isn’t elementary school where you can have your arm twisted and say I take it back.  We are grown ups.  And we are much more complex than we were when we were 12.  And by the time you get to your 20’s you should hopefully know that popping off out the mouth just isn’t cool in any sort of way when you are dealing with someone whom you care about.  And if you want your relationships to stay as peaceful and undamaged as possible, just think before you speak.  Think about how something would make you feel.  Think about whether or not you would want to hear those same things.  Think about whether or not you are fostering the sort of commentary that will create and atmosphere of love or resentment.  Think about how much I sound like Dr Phil right now………  ( I am turning into such a cornball)

1.  Talking about the attractiveness of others. 

So this one is a pretty personal one for me.  I think that it is pretty touchy to make comments about someone else’s physical attractiveness on a regular basis.  If you think that your favorite movie star is really hot then I don’t have a problem with you saying it but the obsessive commentary gets to be annoying and it can lead to someone feeling insecure about who they are if they are not in that same physical mold.  If I am short, chubby with no distinct physical features, I might become a bit self-conscious if you keep making comments about how gorgeous you think Dwight Howard is.  It can make people feel somewhat inadequate.  As if they are not what you ideally desire, but more so just what they are putting up with.  And while it is easy to throw that nasty “insecurity” word around as a way to defend your big mouth I vehemently disagree.  If a lady is upset about me leaving the house and hanging out with my good buddy from college then this may be an example of some type of insecurity.  But upon further examination, if I have been caught hanging out with my college buddy and accompanied by two other women, and you classifies it as you just being his wing man, then you have given her reason to be suspicious thus creating the insecurity. 

As a side note, I generally have always stayed away from celebrity talk when it comes to women I have dated.  I just don’t think it will go well if talk about my “ideal” person or any of that stuff.  But the one time I got caught up running my mouth it went as badly as I could have imagined.  She was so persistant that I was thinking that maybe this would be different.  She kept needling me about giving her an answer.  So I did.  And I explained what I liked about that celeb and how enamored I was with her beauty……  Bad move.  She brought that woman’s name up in at least 4 different circumstances in the next couple of weeks.  And always in the context of how I should like this woman because she is like So and So who you think it so hot.  What a dumbass I was!  I got caught slippin. 

The reality is that I do not view celebrity crushes as just whimsical childish infatuations when you are grown.  I have actually been out with a mid-level R&B singer/Actress before.  And not that it says anything special about me but it does say that celebrities are just regular people.  And under the right circumstances and proper introduction anyone can interact with them socially.  In addition I have had the tremendous fortune to date some women who I think are absolutely beautiful both inside and out.  That any man would be lucky to date.  So please forgive me if I do not brush off the idea that you like to talk about how hot you think Idris Elba, Dwight Howard or Boris Kodjoe are.  To me that sounds like Johnny from Work, Scott from the gym and Malcolm from church!  Attainable company….

2.  Telling someone what they NEED to do.

You ain’t my daddy!  That is the first thing that comes to mind whenever you volunteer to a grown person what they need to do.  It never fails.  We all should keep the council of well-respected friends and mentors in our circle of trust.  But that is the purpose of those people and that is generally well understood.  Because we often go to those people and solicit opinions.  But coming from a significant other it never really plays out that way.  And it is a simple matter of language and a few extra words that make all the difference.  I need you to try to be more active with helping out around the house.  It would help me out a lot… sounds a whole hell of a lot better than, You need to start pulling your weight around here and emptying these trash cans!  The first comment is about getting a desired response.  The second comment is about putting someone in their place and getting your own frustrations out, results be damned. 

3.  You are lucky I am here with you!    Oh Heeellllllll No!  Lucky?  What the hell are you suppose to be?  A Goddamn Lottery ticket?  Sometimes we can feel frustrated by the things that we do for someone in a relationship.  We may feel that we are enduring a lot of things that we normally would not put up with.  Things like someone not having as much disposable money to play around with.  Someone not being as cute as the last person you dated.  Or even someone not being as quick-witted as what you are used to.  If that is the case……..then leave them alone.  Show then the respect that they deserve as a human being to not make them feel less than.  But if despite these draw backs you decided that you want to still be with them do not do so begrudgingly.  That is awful in every way.  To look at someone as though they are not worthy of you.  Because in response you will eventually start to treat them as though they are less than.

The irony of this is that I think we should all be able to look a the person that we are with and feel like we are lucky to be with them.  You just don’t want them to tell you that every 15 min.

4.  Don’t become a psychologist during an argument.

When you talk to people a lot and have close relationships with friends they get to learn things about, that sometimes you do not see or know exist in you.  So it is no big deal for one of your boys to pull you to the side to help you see something that is affecting you and causing you to respond to things in a certain way.  But…as usual this becomes a more delicate instance when you are doing this in the construct of a loving adult relationship.  It just gets more emotional and touchy.  But under the right circumstances you can still tell the woman you love that she might need to reflect on a few things.  But the absolute last thing you want to do is tell her that she needs to evaluate things about herself during the heat of an argument to validate your own Point Scoring.  (Point scoring is when you are disagreeing with someone and you become more consumed with winning an argument than you are trying to understand someone’s perspective)  I can’t tell a lady that she has daddy issues in the middle of an argument and use that as a basis for why she always suspects me of cruel behaviors.  I cannot tell her that it is her father that she is angry with and that her anger manifests itself on me in ways that I am not deserving, when she is yelling at the top of her lungs.  First off I can’t possibly think that I can defuse her upset feelings by reading her like that.  But more importantly I took the sort of openness that she gave to me as an act of surrender of her guarded feelings and threw them back in her face as a way to win an argument.  I hate that a lot.  People do not tell you about their feelings so that you can use it against them.  They do it because it makes them closer to you.  When you bring up an analysis of their pain in the context of a an argument, now you have broken that bond.  And now when they speak to you they must guard their feelings and emotions for fear that you are judging them for the purpose of applying your own dime store psychology to their life.  The beginning of the end as all the trust gets violated.

What sorts of things do you think people say to ruin relationships?

@jacksonbracey

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

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