Here are a few phrases that will probably bring more tension. I was inspired by Gina Barreca’s recent blog to put a relationship twist on common phrases we use, but maybe we shouldn’t.
I would try to avoid these or respond in ways that lowers the tension.
1) We need to talk. This can’t be a good sign. This usually means something has been brewing beneath the surface and is building.
2) Admit it, your mother doesn’t like me. Even if she doesn’t, don’t agree with this. Instead, work on the relationship.
3) I thought it was funny but I didn’t see you laughing. This means you have to like what I like and you can’t be different. Let the person be him/herself.
4) So why are you friends with that guy/girl if you don’t have feelings for him/her? Sounds desperate, like you are jealous and can’t handle his/her relationships.
5) I might have thrown it away. I don’t remember. Sounds insensitive, like you don’t care about what he/she bought you.
6) Maybe I would be more understanding if you would tell me something about it. Can you feel the tension just reading this. This is an indirect accusation. Be direct. What do you want to know?
7) Which of my friend would you be interested in if I died? Do not answer this. There is no good answer. Say, “No one could replace you!”