There are an untold number of problems that face every relationship, and regardless of effort or sensitivity everyone takes a turn at either causing or getting hurt feelings. Some transgressions are minor and pass quickly or can be attributed to a slip of the tongue, while others cut deeper and leave an emotional scar that requires years to heal, if ever. Hurting someone you love verbally can be categorized in a variety of fashions – unintentional, argumentative carelessness, payback, or intentional, but they all have the same destructive effect to the health of a relationship. When it comes to causing pain the intent is of little importance in comparison to despondence that can be caused by mere words.
Both men and women alike equally suffer at the cutting effect of misguided conversation, to what extent is largely dependent upon the subject matter at hand, including the depth and length of the relationship involved. In a long-running relationship in which both parties are thoroughly and intimately knowledgeable of the others endearing qualities, minor issues concerning hurt feelings are likely to be downplayed and released from thought processes almost instantaneously. On the other hand, in a more newly established relationship when the couple is still in a learning phase, minor miscommunication may escalate quickly into damaging confrontations that may last for weeks before resolution.
As is the case with most situations in life, experience matters, and knowing which general issues to avoid can reduce, if not eliminate the odds of hurting someone you love. The topic of past loves and relationships should always be considered taboo, are are akin to playing with explosives in a newer relationship. Likewise, commenting on the physical attributes of another, even in passing or jokingly can open a can of worms that one will soon discover was a serious mistake. True feelings of the family members of a mate should always be off-limits, as there are some thoughts that are better kept to oneself, and indeed, taken to the grave to promote harmony.
It is good practice to considered the impact of ones words for a moment prior to presentation, with an eye toward how they will be received and the verbiage used. In one context, words are useless – intangible utterances that often disappear from thought soon after their purpose is served. In a relationship however, words can stand as monuments to poor judgment, not only harming the ones we love but as reminders of the emotional damage we have inflicted upon them.