4 Man-Emasculating Phrases That Drive Him Away

Words can't be unsaid.

Woman saying all the wrong things to her partner over breakfast pixelshot | Canva

In the delicate dance of communication, some missteps can lead to a full stop. There are some words that, when said, rapidly destroy a connection.

What are they? You might be able to guess one of them. Possibly two if you’re already a serious student of the intricacies of men. But if used in conjunction, or with any regularity, they’re extremely difficult to come back from.

Some women might think it reductive that all men would feel similarly affected by the same words or phrases. And it’s true! There will always be individual variance when it comes to certain men. But just like most women would rather be considered radiant, beautiful, and captivating… than ugly, smelly, or a tireless worker… there is value in being aware of overarching themes when it comes to the similarities between the genders. 


Saying something is one thing, but actually believing them about your man is another. If you’ve ever said any of the following things to your man in a context when you were very clearly joking and it is wildly apparent that you don’t think those things, fine. Perhaps there’s a context when these words don’t do as much damage. But it still isn’t a territory you want to tread lightly.

It’s important to note that even if you never say any of the following four things to your man, if you believe them with any degree of certainty and he feels these things from you even without you having to explicitly name them? That could be doing just as much damage. So these four things are also a good thing for you to audit in your relationship, to ensure that there aren’t any scraps of these types of feelings laying around casually… as these types of thoughts will erode a relationship from the inside out.


RELATED: 6 Things You Should Never Say To Your Husband If You Want To Stay Married

Here are 4 emasculating things you should never say to a man:

1. He's weak



A large percentage of male identity is founded around the concept of strength — both physical and emotional. So, naturally, saying that you think your man is weak is one way to go right for the jugular. If you say that you think your man is weak, it is one of the fastest ways to make him feel disrespected, emasculated, and unlovable. If you want a stable, healthy, loving relationship… avoid explicitly stating, or inferring, that you think your man is weak at all costs. 

2. He's creepy

Another way to decimate a man is to tell him you think that he is creepy. At face value, this might seem obvious. But why is it such an important point? Creepiness, in effect, is a shorthand way of saying that this person’s intimate energy is unwanted. The opposite of a healthy, virile, powerful, high-status, wildly attractive man that most any woman would feel elated to be with… is someone whose energy is avoided like the plague. In short, a creep. If you want your man to feel like you see him as a vile, disgusting creature who lurks in the shadows… saying that he is creepy is how that would be achieved. 


RELATED: 5 Little Things Women Won't Tell Men

3. He's a loser

There are layers to what registers as attractive to people. And the core aspects that register to men and women vary quite consistently. On the what-attracts-women-to-men side of the equation, status is one of the most powerful factors at play. And what’s the opposite of a goal-crushing, highly respected, resourced, high-status man? That’s right — a loser. If you tell your man that you think that he is a loser (and you mean it), that’s one efficient way to crush his spirits and have him act even more loser-like.

4. Saying nothing at all (stonewalling)

Sometimes, saying nothing at all (especially for extended periods of time) can be just as damaging as saying a deeply shaming word. Strategically engaging in radio-silence (often referred to as ‘stonewalling’) is a way that some people create a power imbalance in a relationship by punishing their partner with their temporary stoppage of all communication. And for men who had themes of neglect or abandonment in their childhood, stonewalling can be even more damaging.



RELATED: Yes, The Silent Treatment Is Emotional Abuse — And You Can Stop It


When a woman engages in stonewalling with her partner with any regularity, this would quickly enter the realm of qualifying as emotional abuse. Does this mean that there can’t be moments when someone just needs a moment of silence to gather their thoughts or calm down from an emotionally charged conversation? Of course not. Needing a moment to collect yourself is very different from knowingly shutting out your partner and punishing them with your silence. Stonewalling, when it comes down to it, is really just an adult form of a temper tantrum. It’s the stonewaller wanting the other person to feel as shut-out, disrespected, angry, or hurt as they do — but achieving that effect with abuse instead of just communicating honestly. If you’ve never been on the receiving end of stonewalling, or childhood neglect, consider yourself fortunate. This is not a fun thing to live through.

Leading with love and kindness

Sometimes it’s the things we say, and other times it’s the things we don’t say. Both can have far-reaching negative impacts on our intimate relationships. When it comes to maintaining a healthy, loving relationship — tact, grace, empathy, and kindness are all paramount.

RELATED: Couples In The Healthiest Relationships Show Their Partners Love In One Super Specific Way


Jordan Gray is a five-time #1 Amazon best-selling author, public speaker, and relationship coach with more than a decade of practice behind him. His work has been featured in The New York Times, BBC, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and more.