Words form phrases that convey messages, feelings, and even imagery. As much as they can make you smile, they can also put you down. In relationships, things toxic partners say can have strong emotional impacts.
It is not easy to process hurtful words. When it comes from someone you love, it hurts even more. Sometimes, you dismiss it and make excuses. You may even go as far as questioning yourself because it seems unimaginable that your partner can be so hurtful with their words. However, when it becomes frequent, it is hard to look past.
Oftentimes, these words are a form of emotional manipulation. They cause anguish and emotional pain and can impact mental health. It is a draining experience to be with someone who constantly says things to control, humiliate, and diminish your self-worth.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of these 10 scarring things toxic partners say?
1. “I’m acting like this because of you.”
This is a classic phrase that toxic partners use to blame shift. They say this to avoid fault or responsibility. Through this manipulation tactic, they try to make you question yourself.
Accepting fault requires vulnerability. This will create an environment where you have mutual respect, which they don’t want.
2. “Oh, relax. You’re always so dramatic.” / “Get over it. It’s not that big of a deal.”
Toxic partners say this to create confusion, almost as if you’re imagining things. This is a form of gaslighting because they’re not recognizing what you’re going through or feeling. Each time you express your thoughts, you feel dismissed and unheard. Worst of all, being told you’re being dramatic can make you question whether your feelings are valid.
3. “Your competition is right around the corner.”
Having your partner’s love should not be a competition. This is quite hurtful to hear in a romantic relationship because it implies you’re easily replaceable. Hearing someone repeatedly say these words can damage your self-esteem and make you question whether you’re good enough.
4. “You’re so sensitive. It’s just a joke.”
Sometimes, criticisms are embellished as jokes. Saying it’s a joke does not excuse the fact that it is hurtful. This is extremely harmful because the person receiving these hurtful words dressed as jokes becomes withdrawn. They fear voicing their concerns because they don’t want to be seen as a “killjoy.”
5. “I thought you would have gotten over that by now.”
This comes after they do something that hurts you deeply. Toxic partners often expect forgiveness immediately, even when trust is broken. Being emotional or dealing with the situation becomes unbearable to them. Suddenly, a problem they’ve created becomes your fault.
This can also occur when you’ve experienced trauma and need their support.
6. “Don’t abandon me like everyone else.”
Although some people say this out of fear, it is also part of things toxic partners say. This may come in situations in which someone wants to end the relationship. Those words can induce fear even if you don’t intend to be manipulative. The person wanting to break up may feel intense guilt and almost ashamed to leave when you feel that way.
7. “If you love me, you will do x,y, and z…”
Love should never be used to coerce someone into doing things they are uncomfortable with. “If you love me…” is a guilt-tripping phrase used to make someone change their behavior.
This is part of how toxic partners manipulate you into doing something that will benefit them. Even if you don’t intend to be manipulative, the phrase is. It is quite selfish because it often pushes boundaries and places great responsibility on the other person. Additionally, it can place the other person in a compromising position.
8. “Trust me, you have it good.”
This can come after a toxic partner says or does something that has tremendously impacted you. By saying this, they’re implying that others have it worse than you, and there’s no reason for you to complain. If repeated enough, you can start believing it. You may even question whether your next relationship might be worse because of these words. If these words come after mistreatment or abuse, it is important to think about yourself, ask for help, and walk away.
9. “There you go again with the same lecture.”
By saying this, you’re being unreceptive and shutting out the person approaching you with their concerns. Sighing and eye-rolls are often involved in these types of conversations. These are followed by phases such as ‘Here you go again…” These are all things toxic partners say and do to invalidate your concerns and opinions. Toxic partners that say this are not willing to listen, communicate, or change their behavior.
10. “You need me. You will never make it without me.”
In situations in which you’re dependent on a toxic partner, this is a phrase you might hear quite often. They’re ensuring you know they have the upper hand in the relationship. It is an unhealthy power dynamic that undermines your role in the relationship. It might make you feel alone and may even reinforce codependency because you’ve been bullied into thinking you can’t make it alone.
Some people have toxic traits and may not necessarily use these words to cause harm. Nonetheless, they remain hurtful. It is a good time to self-reflect if you unintentionally say any of these phrases. Observe how your tone and word choices are affecting the people around you.
You will also meet those who knowingly use these words. These toxic people tend to disregard their words’ effects on others. Their intentions often create conflict, hurt, and make you uncomfortable. A great example of these types of individuals is narcissists.
Avoid making phrases with “you” because it directly places blame on the other person. Instead, try “I” statements, which are less critical and more inquisitive and result oriented.