Some men don’t think twice when they say a certain phrase, yet it can deeply insult their girlfriend. Most of the time, males have no idea they did or said something wrong – while their girlfriends will get even more annoyed at their partners for not noticing that the remark was offensive.

Here are some of the phrases that men are better to avoid when talking to a woman – or risk unintentionally causing offence.

1. “Relax”

Not only does it sound condescending and patronizing, but this phrase also doesn’t make any sense. Imagine hurting your finger so bad that you want to scream. Will it hurt less if someone told you to calm down? No, emotional responses don’t work like that. And by degrading someone’s emotional side, you’re invalidating their feelings. Women tend to be more emotional than men, and yes, sometimes it can for physiological reasons but often it is because you did something to upset her. By telling her to calm down, you want to eliminate the noise without having to deal with the reason for negativity. And it sounds more than objectifying. Instead of telling her to “relax,” or “calm down”, try asking your girlfriend what made her so angry or sad.

2. “You look tired”

Many women are image-conscious, so everything connected to her outer flaws and perceived imperfections is a double insult. By telling her “you look tired,” you imply that she doesn’t look her best. Instead of using this phrase, just keep it simple and ask her how she’s doing.

3. “You look stunning. Did you lose weight?”

If you think it’s a compliment, think twice. In a woman’s head, you imply that she used to look heavier and less attractive. Instead of saying that, tell her that she’s getting finer all the time without mentioning her past looks.

4. “You ate all of this yourself?!”

It is one of the rudest things to ever say to a girl. While most men love to see their partner eating healthily, and see remarking on this as a form of encouragement, women don’t see this as a compliment. All she heard is, “You are overweight” or “Do you have an eating disorder? You should be ashamed of eating so much!” The same goes for complimenting her small portions. That way she might think that you are suggesting she needs to diet. Too complicated? Don’t worry, just abstain from commenting on her diet, her weight or her appetite.

5. “You should smile more often, you are too serious!”

Everyone has said this awkward phrase to a girl at least once in a lifetime. How would you like to hear this sentence? Does it make a lot of sense to you? Don’t you think that people usually smile for a reason? It’s a common thing women hate to hear – and for some reason, across the world it seems to be a favourite. They keep telling it to American, British, Russian girls – yet the objectification doesn’t know geographical borders. Some men think that a woman exists only as an eye-pleasing object or as an extension of them – and that her demeanour is something they should change at whim to please a man.  If you want her to smile more, treat her well, make her laugh and make more effort!

6. “It is not ladylike”

What is ladylike anyway? Is it being submissive to a man, putting on makeup, cooking, and cleaning in a flared skirt?  Women are pursuing careers and hobbies in all walks of life, climbing mountains, jumping out of aircraft – and even flying them!  Actually, we need more women to take up STEM careers or we won’t have enough employees to fill future roles – and traditional gender roles and stereotypes are unhelpful – asking a woman to be ‘more ladylike’ is very sexist and outdated.

7. “You look good for your age”

This is one of the phrases to avoid at all costs! Even if you adore how she looks at 55, mentioning it will make her remember that she is not a teenage girl anymore. It is better to compliment her looks and then stop without mentioning the age part.

8. “At least I never…”

Many men use this phrase to point at women’s flaws in return to avoid any responsibility for their own faults and failures. Instead of facing the truth, some men choose to mock stereotypical “female flaws” as opposing to their inattentiveness or harshness.  Nobody likes this – so don’t say it!

9. “Why are you always like that?”

By mentioning this phrase, you stick a certain behaviour to your girl like a tag. She is more than her mood, her bad day at work or PMS.  Try being more supportive.

10.“You act like a typical woman”

Firstly – your girl wants to be seen as an individual and doesn’t want your stereotypical judgement.  After centuries of abuse and patriarchy, even the word “woman” is used in a negative connotation to point at any crying or emotional human being – when used as an insult, how could anyone find this attractive?

Our advice is to avoid these sexist phrases altogether – and enjoy a more harmonious relationship with your girlfriend!

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