“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” ― Randy Pausch
Are you easy to live with?
One of the trademark signs of happy couples is their ease in each other’s company.
None of us is perfect: we all get grumpy, anxious, and stressed. We all have our bad days. But the key is to recognise (or accept) when you are doing something habitually annoying AND try to do something about it.
The hardest people to be with are those who know they’re difficult (usually because they’ve been told repeatedly)— but roll on, regardless.
It’s not okay to adopt a that’s just who I am persona— we all need to be aware of the impact our behaviours are having on others, especially those we live with.
Here are five habits frequently identified as being tough — if not insufferable — to be around that you might want to work on.
1. Defending yourself like a rabid dog when criticised.
“I stopped hating and started just being. My whole life, I had been the most defensive person you’d meet, unable to tolerate any criticism. But now I started listening and being.” ― Anthony Kiedis
I once saw a man systematically destroy his second marriage to a lovely woman because he took EVERYTHING personally. She couldn’t even design herself a garden without him thinking this was a poor reflection on his ideas and skills. And — sadly — it was all because he was raised by a dad who did nothing but put him down.
A lot of people struggle with defensiveness. It’s usually a product of having been severely criticised; repeatedly made to feel Not Good Enough. This can sometimes be tracked all the way back to childhood, or it can be the fallout of a difficult relationship. Your partner should be able to share an idea, or make a comment about your behaviour without you going to war with them. If that’s you, it’s great that you recognised it (or taken notice when you’ve been told you do it). Pause, and sit down, before you react. If that doesn’t work, get some help to change it.
2. Being a domestic slob/slobbess.
I’m a fang-toothed, blob-nosed, slouchy slob.” — Ricky Gervais
To be honest I have no idea if Ricky Gervais leaves wet towels on the bathroom floor or toast crumbs all over the bench or the toilet seat up or never does the dishes. I just liked his self-description. But many couples report that ambiguity around household chores, or having to carry the domestic load, causes resentment and tension in their relationships. This tends to escalate when children come along and the crazy-busyness of work and family life puts pressure on everyone’s time. So do your share and, if you’re someone who struggles to see what needs to be done, act helpfully. Ask what you can do — and write yourself a list.
3. Being obsessed with your phone.
“All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.” ― Virginia Woolf
Smartphones are pushing hard for inclusion amongst the other top relationship saboteurs: sex, money, kids and chores. It’s no surprise that most of us spend too much time on our phones — they’re endless sources of entertainment. But check in on your obsessiveness. Are you constantly distracted by whatever’s on the small screen? Take particular notice if you find yourself chuckling into your phone more than you do with your partner. And don’t think the solution is to share these things you find so funny with your partner — it’s not. They have their own phones to play on! Make an agreement over the time you spend on phones and devices, and pay attention when you’re talking with your partner, or you’re almost certainly headed for trouble.
4. Ruminating (out loud) on your work problems.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie Ten Boom
When Gary from finance is driving you crazy. When your bitch of a boss Sharon (for obvious reasons I’m not calling her Karen) is undermining you in front of your colleagues. When you’re almost dying under the workload….
These are all valid reasons for complaining, but endlessly verbalising your worries and stresses won’t help you and it will set up a negative mental loop that’s hard to break. Especially don’t bring all your stress home and dump it on your partner. He/she doesn’t feel the way you do about Gary or Sharon— so don’t force them to go there. It’ll take a toll on their mental health which is not fair. Especially when you’re wanting them to support you. You do need to talk through your problems but ring-fence the amount of time you spend on them.
5. Being angry about stuff you have no control over.
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” — Marcus Aurelius
Anger shouldn’t be supressed, it’s a valid emotion. And it’s fair to feel a sense of despair at some of the things going on in the world right now. But if you’re yelling at the television because you detest a particular politician or feel the blood rising over a story you read or outrage over a tweet, take charge of yourself. Assess whether you can make any difference to the issue at hand. If there’s something constructive you can do, do it. If not, shut up; unchecked anger — or just plain ranting — is unhealthy for you and stressful for everyone around you, not to mention futile.
Source : Medium