We all get angry sometimes, but we tend to make our worst decisions when we’re angry or frustrated.
Here are five approaches that can help you put your partnership in check and restore its cordiality and friendship:
- Understand how feeling annoyed hurts your relationship
Whenever you feel annoyed if you keep it to yourself, you are making a judgment about the other person. Judging is an alluring path because it makes you feel self-righteous and “better than” someone. But this lasts only for a moment, after which you’re likely to feel drained, deflated, and distant from your partner.
- Remember: You are allies, not enemies
Your feelings are not the other person’s fault. He or she is being annoying? That’s your personal judgment and your subjective perspective, but not necessarily absolute reality.
- Be aware that when you express annoyance, you’re being annoying
This only adds to your problems by reinforcing the combative aspect of your relationship. Expressing your judgment and annoyance is akin to declaring war.
- Instead of trying to improve your partner, focus on improving yourself
We always want our partner to be “This and That” I need him to be better!” But try turning this around: How would you feel about your partner thinking you should be “better”? How would you feel if your partner believed you’d benefit from his or her critiques and coaching? Most people would feel uncomfortable, infuriated, embarrassed, or ashamed. Try supporting each other by making a deal like this: “I’ll focus on my own self-improvement and personal growth while you focus on yours, and we won’t give suggestions unless invited to.”
- Take responsibility for the part you play in the dynamic
Own your feelings and see them as a reflection of your sensitivities. Your feelings are not the other person’s fault. In other words, you are not the victim of your partner’s oddities; you’re the victim of your own. Blaming your partner for your misery, discomfort, or irritation is unfair and leads to unnecessary suffering for you both.