Just keep your mouth shut.
1. When you’re going through a sex slump. Let’s set the scene: You and your guy haven’t had sex in a few months. You’re not sure why, so in a fit of frustration you tell your coupled-up friend. Her response? “Oh, don’t worry, we haven’t either. It’s been four months.”
While that may give you a huge sigh of relief, Irina Firstein, a couples therapist in New York City, says it’s not very helpful. “This kind of comment normalizes a problem that needs to be addressed,” she explains. “Your friend is trying to help, but she’s probably not because she’s untrained in sex therapy and can’t usually give constructive feedback.”
Plus, whether she admits it or not, Firstein says it’s likely she’s lying. “Your sex life is actually really private, and many people tend to not be completely honest about theirs in an effort to relate to the person they’re having the conversation with,” she explains. In the end, her comments can make you feel worse (or better) about your problems, which is ultimately not helpful. So, if you’re having problems in the bedroom, first try bringing it up with your partner. If you can’t get to the root of the issue together though, consider talking with a sex therapist who can not only help you figure out why there’s a lack of intimacy but also give you ideas to spice things up in the bedroom.
2. When your in-laws piss you off. It seems like everyone bitches about their mother- or sister-in-law, but Firstein says you should try to bite your tongue if you can. You never know when word is going to get back around to your husband (or if he simply overheard you in the other room), and that can make him resentful, “as typically people are defensive of their family,” she explains.
And again, it’s not helpful. Sure, it’ll make you feel better in the moment to get a frustration off your chest, but ultimately the feedback you get from friends will be personal and likely drawn from their own experience. “That has nothing to do with you and your situation, so it’s safer not to risk it,” says Firstein. Instead, go get in a workoutto blow off some steam, then come back and talk to your partner, so you can work out a solution after you’ve had some time to cool off and can speak (and think) more clearly.