Many of us have been there. One minute you’re having a conversation,
maybe a minor argument, but that’s OK; it’s all under control. Then you
say something — a word or passing comment, something relatively
harmless, or so you think — and it sets her off. As soon as it leaves
your lips, the air changes, and there’s no easy way back.
There are some things men should never say to their women — conversational land mines that appear insignificant on the face of it.
“You’re a woman, act like one”
Many times, when these words are used by men to women, it is in the context of oppression, subjugation, delimitation and other concepts that show the suppression of women and promote their unfair treatment in one way or another.
Anything that makes her lose confidence
There really isn’t a concrete list of what to not say; because, literally, there are loads and loads of stuff that you should reasonably not say to anyone, and especially not to the women in your life.
In a general sense, however, you can’t say stuff that chips away at your babe’s confidence. Whatever tears her down rather than build her up is wrong. You can’t say that to her face or even behind her.
If you must criticise her, do it gently, constructively and in love. That’s your woman. It’s on you to build her up with your words and your actions.
Anything that pokes fun at her insecurities
You know the weight issues she talks to you about and the concern she expresses to you about a certain part of her body? Those are off limits, bruh! You can not joke about them!
If she’s insecure about it, then it’s out of bounds. Even women like men who make them laugh and carve our jokes out of anything, we doubt anyone would find it funny if you’re piling into their insecurities as a form of jokes.
Don’t say things you do not mean
This is an ever-green rule that you should know and never flout. If you do not mean it, do not say it. Not even when you are angry or during a fight. You may never be able to apologise them away. So try to not say those hurtful words that you clearly do not mean
Your girlfriend is, by definition, as light as a feather and nimble as a ballerina. To so much as whisper a hint of the notion that she might be, you know, otherwise, is to risk paying a price as heavy as you suspect her to be. In fact, avoid the topic of food altogether if you can. Eating is an emotional, often obsessive business for women, and occasionally it’s an actual disorder. It’s tied up with their identity, their self-image, their fantasies. So the answer is, yes, she’s really going to eat all that. All that ballet must have given her an appetite.
The B word is like the N word: Unless you’ve been appropriately oppressed, you don’t get to use it. You might be able to pull off an ironic Snoop Dogg-style “beeeyatch,” so long as you’re smiling as you say it. But to say “b*tch” with any kind of intent is to pull the pin out of a grenade.
“My ex used to … “
Anything you say with the words “my ex” in it will be held against you in a court of law, as it should. Of course it’s natural to compare your girlfriends, but keep it to yourself. There are inside thoughts and outside thoughts. This belongs firmly to the former category.
“You always do that”
One sure way to escalate a minor tiff into a nuclear showdown is to use words like “never” and “always.” They’re too sweeping to be true, so you’ll not only upset her, but also give her the opportunity to prove you wrong and seize the higher ground. And it tends to drag every other argument you’ve had into your present one, which is like rehashing all the worst parts of your relationship all at once.
“You sound just like your mother”
Don’t compare her to her mother. Or her sister, for that matter. You don’t know those people like she does, and you don’t know the full complexity of their relationships. And anyway, everyone wants an independent identity, separate and distinct from their family members.
“Yeah, she’s hot”
Chances are she lured you in with an innocent question, like, “Do you think she’s cute?” shrugging her shoulders like it wouldn’t matter either way. But don’t be fooled. You must lie quickly and reflexively. Whether it’s a girl in a magazine, a Facebook friend, a waitress — whoever — the answer is always no. In fact, you win extra points for casually finding fault in her the closer you look. Watch your girlfriend light up as you say, “Is it me, or is her nose a bit weird?”
“What’s up with your hair?”
Her hair looks great and it suits her perfectly. She’s allowed to have a bad hair day, but you’re not allowed to notice. For girls, hair isn’t just hair.
“Is this your time of the month?”
Even if it is, you’re not to mention it. Your role is to pretend that her menstrual cycle has no effect on her tendency to shriek and stamp and then burst into tears for no reason whatsoever. In this matter, you must occupy the high ground and show pity. Indulge her delusion that she is not in fact deranged by hormones and that she’s making a valid point. The moment will pass.
“I love you”
I know what you’re thinking. This is supposed to be the magic pill, the cure-all, the instant fix. But the thing about the L word is that it sends women into a heightened sense of awareness. As soon as they hear it, they can tell whether or not you mean it. Misuse the force and it may destroy you. Or as the saying goes, if you play with fire, you might get slapped in the middle of a restaurant.