You might think actions are better than words when it comes to communicating to your partner that you’re upset or angry, but they’re not a mind reader. The most grown-up way of saying what’s on your mind is to use your words. Here are the best ways to express your feelings.
Say it right away.
If your partner makes a “joke” that rubs you the wrong way, express that it’s not cool and it makes you feel bad. If you don’t, it can be harder to broach the subject later. They might not even remember what they said or what they meant, for instance, which will just make the chat uncomfortable.
Avoid attacking their character.
If you tell your partner what they did to upset you, don’t start throwing verbal punches at who they are. One of the classic ways in which people do this is by saying things like, “You always…” For example, they’ll say, “You always do that,” or “You always upset me.” Focus on their behavior instead of their character.
Talk when you’re cool.
If you’re feeling highly emotional, avoid talking to your partner about what has upset you. Instead, wait until you’ve calmed down and thought through your feelings so that you can communicate in a more mature way. In the meantime, stress balls, anyone?
Focus on your feelings.
You’ve probably heard advice that you should use statements starting with the words, “I feel…” For example, “I feel sad when you make jokes that hurt me” or “I feel upset when you don’t really listen to me.” This makes your words more authentic and helps you reach out to your partner instead of attacking them.
Blend in some positive words.
Yes, you’re angry. Yes, your partner has really upset you. But you don’t want to turn this incident into a full-blown fight. So, always try to mix in some positives with whatever negative thing you’re telling them. For example, tell them how much you love that they make you laugh before saying that sometimes their humor is hurtful. The important thing is to see the bigger picture of your relationship and still treat the person with kindness and respect.
Get to the heart of it.
What is it that’s really upsetting you? If you can communicate that in a clear, concise way, this will make talking to your partner about it much easier. It will also prevent you from rambling or being misunderstood, which can cause more frustration.
Ask yourself what’s really going on.
Linked to the above point is the possibility that you might actually be feeling something that’s a mask for another emotion. A good example of this is anger. Often when you feel anger, you’re actually feeling sadness underneath it. Unwrapping your emotions really helps so you can communicate better with your partner.
Don’t do it via text.
Yes, it can seem much easier to let rip with your feelings via text so that you don’t have to experience the discomfort of having to tell your partner how you’re feeling in person. But it’s childish to resort to letting your phone do the dirty work on your behalf. Besides, without the use of tone and facial expressions, whatever you say can be taken in a much more intense way. Just don’t do it.
Please leave the drama at home.
It’s fine to vent and rage about how you’re feeling to your bestie, but when you talk to your partner try to reel in all the drama. The reason why is because it can make the situation much more stressful than it needs to be. Also, consider this: if you lose your temper when talking to your partner, this will have the effect of making them react defensively. You also become the bad person in the scenario.
Remove your expectations.
It would be great if your partner acknowledges how you feel and apologizes, but sadly this isn’t guaranteed. If you go through the above steps and you still don’t get that response from them, it doesn’t mean your approach failed. It just means that things were a bit more complicated. The most important thing is that you expressed yourself and stood up for yourself. Your feelings matter!
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