Your Straight Male Friend

Words That Wound: 8 things not to say in an argument

For most guys, the very idea of being caught in an emotionally vulnerable moment is… oh, what’s a good word?

Nauseating. Literally.

Yes, I absolutely mean that if offered a choice between throwing up and admitting that he cried at the end of “The Notebook”, most guys would choose to bury their faces in a barf bag. It doesn’t matter how enlightened or evolved the guy happens to be, when it comes to exposing of real, raw, hurt, guys will fight it. And they will fight it like Luke Skywalker fought the dark side of The Force.

It’s not that men want to be that way; it’s just something that simply can’t be helped. Guys are genetically predisposed to hide feelings because showing feelings of hurt is showing weakness. Ladies often say that they admire a guy who’s unafraid to bare his soul and shed a tear, and that guy may get a pass at first. But if he bares that bleeding heart too often, the lady eventually thinks, “too soft” and she’s out of there! An inconvenient truth… women get the lifetime emotional hall pass, guys… don’t.

And though women tend to believe otherwise, when couples argue, guys are often hurt by many of womens’ mid-fight retorts and declarations. And just as guys know that there are certain buzzwords and statements guaranteed to be a roadblock to reaching any resolution, women should know that there is a female equivalent. Guys have feelings too!

So I’m going to give you an assist. The following list is comprised of a few particular words and phrases that are guaranteed to wound a guy no matter how he may react outwardly. So here we go…

  1. “I’ll just talk to someone who understands me.” – So you’re saying that I’m such an awful partner that I’ve spent all this time with you without paying attention to your particular emotional needs? Wow. That hurts.
  2. “You never….” – This is a particularly hurtful statement. Why? Because by saying, “you never…”, you’ve essentially made it clear that something he most likely has done at least periodically, was a waste of time and effort because you didn’t notice it anyway. And you can’t save the situation by saying, “Well, you know what I mean.” Nope. We don’t know what you mean. We don’t read minds. We know what you’ve said, though.
  3. “You always…” – See above.
  4. “I just can’t talk to you.” – This stings. All we ever want to do is make you happy. It may not always seem like it, but generally that’s where most guys’ hearts lie. Say that and the guy immediately thinks, “You can’t talk to me? All I do is try to talk to you and hear what’s on your mind… but when I ask you ‘what’s wrong?’ You say, ‘nothing.’ I can’t win.”
  5. “_______ used to do _________ for me/with me!” – Ouch. If ________was so great, why the hell didn’t you stay with him?
  6. “I don’t like ‘big ones’ because they hurt… yours is perfect, honey.” – My radio co-host, Matty, came up with this one. And yes, it’s shallow and a little petty, but let’s be real… most guys act confident about their junk, but statements like that can ruin a guy’s self-esteem instantly.
  7. “Size doesn’t matter.” – Just stop it. By having to say, “it doesn’t matter” you’re saying how much it totally matters. And we’re crushed. For more, see #6.
  8. “You’re boring.” – Come on. Seriously? I mean even if that’s kind of true, there’s got to be a better way to relay the message that you’d like to go out more often. Being told you’re boring is a stab right in the heart… NO guy wants his partner to think he’s bland. That comment is also a kick to a guy’s confidence. Now he’s worried that his lady is seeking excitement somewhere other than him.

There are more, but the greater point here is that you may want to think twice before blurting out something in anger or out of blatant insensitivity. Guys may not always share the hurt, but they feel it – and far too often that point is forgotten simply because a man is… a man.

Follow Marcus on Twitter: @SMFmarcus

Fighter Photo Credit: ~UnlimitedForce

Written by

Marcus Osborne is a 20 year San Francisco Bay Area media veteran. Currently, Osborne reviews films in San Francisco California on a local radio station. Prior to that, he was the Executive Producer and Co-Host on “The Y’all-turnative Morning Show” on country music formatted 95.7 The Wolf. Before co-creating the morning show on The Wolf, Osborne was the executive producer and sidekick to Bay Area broadcasting icon, Renel Brooks Moon. The dynamic duo were heard every weekday morning on the “Renel in the Morning Show” on 98.1 KISS FM.

2 Comments to “Words That Wound: 8 things not to say in an argument”

  1. Tova Rasmussen says:

    Ok ladies….we should know better…but how many of us are guilty of this?

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