We need to talk.
I don't actually ever say, "We need to talk."
....that this language strikes such fear into his heart that he can't function after hearing it until having the talk. At all--he can't read or work or think about anything except the fear of the upcoming talk.
For another, the construction assumes a need in the other person, and I don't usually have that information. I say, "I need to talk to you about XXX (specific subject), is this a good time?"
And only when I actually think it is a good time, so there's no worrisome delay.
I've recently seen a couple of places some guys bemoaning "women's need to talk."
Here's the thing: inside my head, it's talk to you about it or leave you. I've already tried to change my response, to learn to put up with whatever is bothering me, to make it less important, and so forth; talking is a last attempt to resolve the issue before deciding whether it's time to end the relationship. ...