Whether you are in an exciting new relationship or rounding out a decade with the one you love, it can be really hard not to take it to heart when the most significant person in your life says something that rubs you the wrong way.
Maybe they triggered an insecurity by not returning your text soon enough or maybe they helpfully shouted out, “Hey hun, that Sono bello commercial is on again! Do you want their number?”
Whatever the case may be we all have trigger points and when our guard is down and our buttons are pushed…we start to get the relationsh*ts.
Have you ever been reminiscing about a past holiday with your partner, but their version of the exact same situation at the exact same time presents completely differently? You think, ‘Is something wrong with them?’ We were both there. How could two versions of the same thing be so very different when you were both experiencing it?
Well…there’s actually a pretty good explanation for that.
The truth is we are all subjective individuals and everybody puts a different spin on things that happen around them. Nobody is lying but people tend to pay attention to different things and create meaning based on their own interests and filters.
It’s what makes us beautifully unique. And also annoying AF.
And in relationships a lack of understanding about this can cause us to be critical of our partners and start to take things WAY too personally.
Why do I take things so personally?
‘What if?’ mode.
Assumption creates a lot of drama in a relationship. If your partner doesn’t text you back quickly and you start going down the rabbit hole thinking, “He doesn’t care about my feelings!” a lot of unnecessary drama will likely be headed your way. The insecurity you feel likely comes from emotional habits and subconscious programming more than from anything your partner has or hasn’t done. Do you quickly get defensive and assume you are being attacked? Do you feel that you are being blamed or criticized when people are just thinking the way they always think, speaking the way they always speak, or doing their do?
Solution: Instead of assuming, ASK people what they meant or why they didn’t have time to text you. What people have to say reflects who they are more than who you are. If you only take things personally when someone triggers an insecurity, then identify those trigger points and start by reducing your insecurities.
Ouch! That hit a nerve.
If you tend to take things personally when they are not personal, you are likely projecting your own doubts and insecurities onto your partner. You expect your partner to dislike what you don’t like about yourself, you expect them to doubt your ability to do things that intimidate you and you expect them to reject what you reject in yourself. Bottom line: If you feel you aren’t good enough, smart enough or people don’t like you, if your partner doesn’t agree based on their own views and experiences – Voila! You’ll both have an instant case of the relationshits.
Solution: Set your bar higher. Set clear and measurable standards for yourself and meet them. Tell that “not enough” voice to shut the heck up and people’s comments will no longer trigger you. And hey, have a little more compassion for yourself. Nobody is perfect so focus on what you are doing right instead of the other way around.
It’s not always about you.
While you’re busy worrying about what people think of you, they are busy worrying about what other people think of them! Some are busy worrying about looking good, hiding flaws and insecurities, others are busy focusing on finding solutions to problems, and others are busy working to support their goals and advance their own agenda. Bottom line: you are not the center of everyone’s world, and in most cases, they aren’t even thinking about you.
Solution: Chill out. Take a deep breath and give yourself a chance to relax. You are not under fire. In challenging situations, remember not to make things about you. Expand your perspective. Look at what is happening from someone else’s vantage point. Ask yourself “What else could this mean?” or “What needs to happen to fix this problem?”.
The bigger picture.
Last but certainly not least, try to see the big picture instead of focusing too much on all the small problems. If it’s not going to matter next week, don’t worry about it. Remind yourself how far both you and your partner have come and things that you’ve gone through together to keep the relationship going.
Solution: Taking the time to write down the big goals you and your partner have can significantly impact the situation. Lack of understanding can ruin the relationship if you aren’t careful. So can not having anything to look forward to together. So remind yourself why you are with them in the first place and get excited about all the plans you have for the future.
Want to step outside your usual relationship routine and create new memories together? Fun games like The Couples Bucket List is filled with mini challenges for couples that will have you trying new things.
No, you aren’t a saint, and none of us can put a smile on our face all the time when our partner disappoints us. But it’s important to understand that if someone cares about you, it’s probably not their intention to hurt your feelings and inciting World War III over a text message just isn’t necessary.
Remember, there is only one Judge Judy and you aren’t her! So, highlight more positive thoughts and let go of the resentment feelings. It’s the best known cure for the relationshits.