We've all heard it before. You're in the middle of a heated argument with your significant other when they drop this word bomb on you: "You're crazy!" Immediately the room shifts from heightened voices to a silence more deafening than you ever believed possible. There's no turning back after you throw the "crazy" card into the mix.
It's crazy (see what I did there?) that such a commonplace word can also have such a powerful and demeaning impact when used in a different context. Trust me — I've been there. My last relationship was riddled with dishonesty and distrust from the start. Although I am a relatively calm and even-keeled person, on occasion we did have arguments that led to cruel statements meant to degrade the other person. Let me tell you: there is no other phrase that turns a woman into a fire-breathing dragon quite like "You're crazy."
After a long period of suspected cheating and deceit, without any proof, I really did start to feel crazy. So when your partner throws that word in your face, in whatever context it may be, you can't help but wonder if there is a nugget of truth to what they're saying. This word is immediately damaging not only to the targeted person's self-worth and self-esteem, but to the relationship as well. (And if you're wondering about my trust issues, my gut feeling was right all along.)
The effect that phrase had on my future relationship was absolutely staggering.
I truly didn't realize the lasting harm those words caused until my current relationship. Although I was thrilled to have finally met a wonderful, kind, and caring man, I was absolutely paranoid about appearing trusting, chill, go-with-the-flow, and pretty much anything BUT crazy. The effect that phrase had on my future relationship was absolutely staggering. In fact, it made me doubt my ability to trust, to love completely, and to give all of myself without the fear of being hurt. However, with open conversation and absolute honesty, those walls slowly began to crumble.
Over time, I've learned that one of the most beneficial things you can do if you feel a hurtful statement about to roll off your tongue is to de-escalate the conversation. Although you may feel a primal urge to defend yourself or define the other person's actions, your relationship can often be salvaged by taking a moment to walk away. Try to figure out why your partner may be acting the way he/she is, rather than confirming the notion that they are indeed acting "crazy." More productive and compassionate verbiage, along the lines of "You know what? If I'm being honest with myself, I really did overreact earlier," could change the course of your relationship.
So take that moment to breathe, reassess, and walk away if the relationship is worth saving. Remember that once you say that hurtful phrase, there's no taking it back.