I had a patient tell me that his mother hotly demanded this of him this so often he began to believe there really was something deeply wrong with him. It took years for him to work through the misbelief that he was somehow inherently mentally and emotionally impaired. I suggest you never use this statement. It’s a demeaning and demoralizing accusation, not a question. Instead you might say, “Tell me what’s going on in you right now.” “How can I make things better?” We all make mistakes and act like idiots at times. The person you’re accusing needs to be heard and listened to even if you don’t fully understand them.
I could have added more to this list – but I thought these ten were enough to chew on for now. I ask myself how many times do I glibly say things that might tear down instead of build up another person?
I believe the key is discernment. Discernment with genuine thoughtfulness: we can’t go wrong with those two. Add a dose of God’s love and compassion and we’ll make a big difference in our relationships.
Do you have some “never say” phrases you’d like to share? Send them to me here and I”ll post them!