Forgetting those special days, never being on time, always wanting to have their way, and playing the blame game to scattering things around, texting at the dinner table, forgetting to go shopping, and leaving the toilet seat up – it is an endless collection of big and small annoyances in any relationship.
Some of these begin even at the dating stage but you may not notice them as your love was clouding your vision. The same can be said about the honeymoon phase.
As you settle down in the relationship, you will start noticing these irritants one by one. It can be something minor like forgetting to take the trash out, snoring, or burping loudly, or more serious ones like making plans for the both of you without consulting you or making poor financial decisions.
Again, what is major and minor depends entirely on individuals.
You may have heard relationship experts say that all these are inevitable parts of relationships and you should learn to accept things and move on. In your heart of hearts, you may even be willing to accept this as the truth but you may be having a hard time putting this piece of advice into practice.
On one hand, you have these irritants bothering you. On the other, you are unable to let it go. So, what should you do?
Read on to learn about how to deal with this catch-22 situation. You can teach yourself how to not let things bother you. Especially in the context of a relationship, this skill can be the making or breaking factor. Here you will find 8 practical ways to deal with annoyances in a healthy relationship.
Ways to deal with relationship problems
Once the initial euphoria of the relationship fades away and you begin to get to know each other, it is natural that both partners tend to relax their guards and get comfortable being themselves. This is a good and inevitable step only if one or both partners have the awareness about how their behavior and actions are perceived by the other.
Getting too comfortable can be both good and bad at the same time. In a relationship, it is important to be open and honest. However, taking the consent or comfort of the partner for granted can lead to fissures in the relationship.
Some may not consider leaving things around or not being home on time as a serious violation of relationship protocol. But for some it is. So, what constitutes a minor or major irritant is a very personal and subjective matter.
The best way to avoid such friction in relationships is to be aware of your partner’s wishes, choices, and preferences and try your best to accommodate them. Or else you can learn not to allow these things to get to you and not get mad over little things.
Let’s see how you can stop getting upset over little things.
Stop getting upset over “little” things
1. Look inward
Some introspection will reveal the real reason why you are upset with your partner. Is it really the small irritants or is it something else? Be honest with yourself.
Once you figure out the real issue, you may be able to arrive at the solution as well. Often the affected partner feels being sidelined or ignored. They may feel as if their views and preferences are not given enough importance.
You can have an open conversation with your partner and make them aware of how you feel. At the same time, you can work on your confidence and self-esteem to improve your mindset.
2. Understand why things are bothering you
Often there will be a deep-lying cause behind such annoyances. It may not be the snoring or burping you are annoyed about. But the fact that your partner is not being considerate about your sensibilities. Or worse still, the reason can be something totally unrelated such as forgetting your birthday or being late for your dinner date.
It may not be easy for you to admit this even to yourself. You may keep arguing in your mind that you are actually annoyed by the burping/snoring and nothing else. If you are looking for a solution and want to be in a happy and healthy relationship, you must be honest about this.
Unless you get to know the real reason behind your annoyance, you will be unable to resolve it.
3. If you are at fault, own it up
Once you have figured out the real issue, you mustn’t bottle it up. This can only worsen things.
If you feel you have done something wrong, be magnanimous and own it up. After all, your happiness is at stake here. If you consider your relationship important enough, you should be willing to fight for it and sacrifice your ego.
While owning up, you don’t need to offer explanations. You can just explain what happened, apologize, and stop at that. Anything more from you will seem like defending or justifying your actions. Acknowledge the fact that you did something wrong and hope that your partner can forgive you for the same.
4. If you feel wronged…
Sometimes even if this is the case, it doesn’t mean that your partner did something wrong. It can just be your perception. Your partner’s words or actions may have dealt a blow to your self-image. This is where it gets a bit tricky.
Instead of accusing your partner of being rude or inconsiderate, you can choose to introspect and accept the truth that you are not perfect. Once you shed that perception, it will be easygoing. The moment you acknowledge that you can make mistakes, you may not find the words of your partner offensive.
5. If your partner indeed did hurt you…
This again is a real possibility. You never know a person well until you start living with them. Especially in the dating phase, most people put on a front and project a desirable persona. This veneer of a perfect partner will start eroding as you settle down into a relationship.
All the undesirable elements in their personality will come out like insects crawling out of the woodwork. Now, the question is how to deal with the toxic relationship. That depends on how bad the situation is and how much you are willing to accommodate.
As a first step, you should initiate a heart-to-heart conversation with your partner. If after repeated attempts this is not working, you may go in for counseling.
6. Get it out in the open
Keeping your feelings suppressed and bottled up is not going to help anyone, especially yourself. The more you try to keep it in, the worse it will get for you as well as the relationship. In extreme cases, this can take an altogether different turn and even lead to serious mental health issues.
Instead, you can try reaching out to your partner and let them know how you feel about their actions or words. You may let them know how you feel hurt by them and how it is affecting you as a person as well as the relationship. Irrespective of their response, this is the best course of action for you.
Your partner may be willing to own up their mistake and apologize. This will solve the whole issue. Or else, they may turn defensive and justify their behavior. In the worst-case scenario, they may even accuse you of conjuring all this up. This may not be good for the relationship, but it is better the truth is out in the open.
If your partner is not willing to discuss the issue, you may be forced to deal with it yourself. You may get the help of a friend or try journaling, or get help from a therapist.
One thing is for sure. You should not keep the feelings suppressed. You should find a release for it.
7. Learn to manage your reaction
You may feel hurt by something your partner said or did. If your immediate reaction is to make an ugly scene, think twice. That is bound to raise your negative energy. You are destroying your mental health and that of your partner as well as the relationship.
Even if what your partner did is wrong, overreacting, jumping to conclusions, or blowing things out of proportion can only make matters worse. Instead, take a deep breath and allow yourself some time to think about it. Is there a reason for your partner’s action? Or was it intentional?
If it is a first-time offense, the best strategy would be to let it slide. If it is being repeated, you can take appropriate steps. However, refraining from overreacting can give you time and space for arriving at a better solution.
8. Have a coping strategy ready
To protect yourself from negative emotions like anger outbursts and temper tantrums, you should have an effective calming strategy in place. Such as counting to twenty or taking deep breaths. Once the moment passes, you will regain control of your senses and you can think about a good way to deal with the issue.
Coping strategy is only to avoid losing control of yourself. The issue will still be there and you will continue to feel hurt. And you still need to find an effective resolution to the episode for moving forward.
Just remember that no one is perfect and everyone can make mistakes, including happy couples. Accepting this simple truth can help you deal with the little and big aggravations that may crop up in a relationship. You must stop getting upset over small things.
If you are unable to deal with the relationship issues by yourself, you can always approach a mental health professional for help. They may be able to help you understand the reason behind your irritation and assist you in finding a way out of the mess you find yourself in.