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Always, Never and Whatever: The 3 Words to Keep OUT of Your Relationship

Posted by Stacy on

My husband has asked me over and over again to blog about us.  After careful thought and deliberate decision making, I chose one of our relationship ground rules:  Never say always, never or whatever when we are in a disagreement or argument.

How many times have you gotten into a heavy discussion with your loved one and tossed out the words always, never and whatever, as the final zinger to clinch your win?

While these could have positive affects, they are typically the few words that will embitter and infuriate the other individual.

  • Always:  every time; on every occasion; without exception. The word 'always' in and of itself has a lasting effect, but when you look at the definition, it drills it home even deeper.  "You always leave the lights on the bathroom."  Or how about, "You're always late to school/class" when we are parenting our kid.  This is the first word to be stricken from the "crucial conversations" list, and instead use it to encourage and thank the other person.  "Thank you, Honey, for always opening the door for me."  Or "Mom, your spaghetti always tastes good!"
  • Never:  not ever; at no time; absolutely not. Can you really say that someone NEVER does anything?  This is another one of those words that can be thrown own cavalierly to make a point in an argument.  "You NEVER pay the bills on time."  "You never put down the toilet seat."  While on the other hands, it can easily be used as a point of reference or association.  For instance, "I NEVER eat watermelon."  I'm conveying that no matter what, I do not eat watermelon.  This is one of those words that should "NEVER be used in a conversation where the steaks and emotions are high.
  • Whatever:  no matter what; regardless of what.  It's kinda funny looking back because my husband has had some history with this word, and very deliberately asked me not to use it whenever we get into a disagreement or argument.  It typically comes up with one person making some true statements that the other person isn't ready to hear, which result in a flippant about turn and "whatever!" as they are walking away. Also, if you and your spouse or friend are making arrangements for something, this word isn't the best selection to represent your decision choice.   

Example #1:  We are in the process of shopping for new wedding rings, and "whatever" is not a word I would use as my choice of diamond cuts.

Husband:  "Honey, would you like the Marquis cut or the Princess Cut."

Wife:  "Whatever."

No, that doesn't work at all.  

Example #2:  I also recall a discussion with a co-worker that elevated on the premise of the dismissive "whatever."

Peach Colleague:  "Would you like to go to XYZ Cafe -- they have a great salad bar, or ABC Grill for their famous Grilled Salmon?"

Apple Colleague:  "Whatever, I don't care"  

Note, Peach is asking Apple, since Apple is on a strict diet with limited foods. 

Whatever can be another way of saying, "I don't care" when there are clearly times that you need to.

Take another look at your Rules of Engagement with your partner and decide if the "Always, Never and Whatever Rule" needs to be added or amended.

If you are one who resorts to this method, consider other words that would more adequately convey your point.

As my husband puts it, "Always and Never are two (chicks) that will never be a part of this here marriage."

My response?  "Whatever!" 

~plm

Today's Crayon Color:  Orange-Yellow

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