What should I do when they moan, nag, or complain at me?
Simply put, thank them x.
A little more?
First, take a step back and be grateful.
Listen to them
Consider what they say - Be wise; don't assume you're correct; instead, listen to what they're saying and learn to understand their meaning.
Consider your action and desired result, and remember that you want long term, not the short term.
Check your move first; you are likely wrong.
Act: fix, break, or ignore
Observe and learn for next time.
The question, "What should I do when my partner moans?" is too frequently asked. After addressing it at least once a week for many years and responding to every possible argument, I have enough explanation of what you should do to help in most situations. When you have an unhappy partner, I will walk you through what I believe you should do and why. I'll present enough ideas to get you started on a better path; the rest is up to you.
First Things First
When dealing with an angry partner, it's essential to take a step back and be thankful that you have a partner and that they are trying to improve your relationship. Instead of dwelling on the negative feelings, consider shifting the emphasis by expressing thanks to your partner and the relationship. This could make it easier and more pleasant to solve conflicts, and it could also help you talk to each other without resentment. Be careful what you wish for and what singles you put out; if you don't appreciate your partner and them bringing their issues and feelings to you, there is a good chance they will stop. Is it not worse when your partner gives up hope?
Self-preservation is a normal impulse that drives us to shield ourselves from negative emotions in our relationships; nevertheless, it may also lead to destructive actions such as name-calling, withdrawing, withholding affection, or planning retribution. During these times, it's easy to go from defence to attack mode, which may worsen the issue and ruin the relationship. It's important to realise that preventing a negative reaction to the situation is difficult but not impossible and that your actions are your responsibility; learn to take control. Recognizing that partnerships need reciprocal effort and understanding, it is critical to strike a balance between self-preservation and empathy, as well as successful communication. It is possible to have unpleasant talks with our partners in a manner that is beneficial to both of us.
Learn to take care of yourself first, detach yourself from the circumstance, and take care of yourself in the future by not acting like a fool today. Step away, emotionally or physically. Put some distance between yourself and the tension. Your level of self-control determines whether you stay and listen while turning off the internal dialogue that is dragging you down or whether you walk away. If you have trouble regulating yourself because another part of you is in charge, you should work on it first, as it gets in your way more than you would believe. You may be too attached to your partner's feelings, taking them on as your own rather than hearing your partner as a different individual. You might be overly sensitive, frightened, scared, weak, uncertain of yourself, egotistical, or exhibit any number of other undesirable traits.
You have the blink of an eye to make the correct move at the moment of the trigger when everything goes through your system, and a response begins before your consciousness. That is, take a step back, remove yourself from the equation, and create space between you and it; this may take any shape you wish; it can be that you physically leave the room; if you choose this, say, "I just need to mellow out for a while; I will be back after I settle down." With practice, you may learn to dismiss the negative feeling internally with confidence but keep your distance from your triggers for your own good. It is critical to catch yourself first; you must be in control of yourself to behave in a manner you will subsequently approve of. When everyone on board falls ill, the pilot is the first to get treatment. If you, as the pilot, lose control, the aircraft will crash. Learn to prioritise yourself so you can assist yourself first, followed by others. If there's a crisis and you're rushing about like a headless chicken, you're neither "use nor ornament." The problematic but honest part is recognising the genuine truth of the issue, which is that your partner feels differently than you do and that you fear this. Step back from the situation and realise it isn't about you; if your partner is unhappy, it can only mean one thing. They are unhappy about something they perceive from their point of view. Do not interrupt, intuit, or speculate on how they are feeling. Distance yourself sufficiently from yourself to hear them.
You don't hear the other person; you hear your version of what was said, and you twist and change the facts to fit your perception of what is happening. You convince yourself that you understand because we all want to be in control, and it is this notion that keeps you from hearing the other. You can only hear them if you first hear yourself; you can only filter out your own prejudice if you can recognise it while you listen. You always play this game, altering everything to match your negative story. They say something basic like, "I'm going to my mother's later," and you hear some background information. "I'm saying I'm unhappy and don't want to be with you; I'm going to go and complain about you again." To fully listen, you must first be able to release your own baggage. Hearing is more subjective than you think. When we are worried, our body takes a defensive posture; in this case, we lose a lot of higher reasoning due to stress, and everything becomes black-and-white thinking. To hear effectively, take an internal step back to prevent your mind from modifying reality to match its destructive perspective.
If your partner is trying to tell you something, my advice is to listen as thoroughly as possible without taking it personally or making it about you. As it were, step back and remove yourself from the situation. Allow them to tell you about their perception of their reality. You don't need to provide an opinion; listen and take mental notes.
What they say is merely a mirror of how they see the world, and it's fantastic that you both have different points of view; otherwise, there would be no purpose in being together. We all have our own perspectives on reality. When I believe it's too hot, some say it's okay; when I say it needs more salt, others disagree. It is obvious that we all have our own particular perspectives, feelings, ideas, and so on. Get over yourself and develop so you don't react like a child when others don't view things the way you do. Stop distorting facts and manipulating what people say to suit your story. Try to hear them for a change, to hear what they're saying beneath the extra story you've added to what they say. Listen beyond your own point of view and hear the message they are trying to convey; even if you are correct, it will significantly assist you in understanding what your partner is upset by. You may determine what you feel and wish to do later if you don't require an immediate reply. There is no need to agree or disagree since you are merely describing their unique point of view, which is as real to them as your point of view is to you.
The most challenging aspect of listening is letting go of the need to respond immediately and learning to strike while the iron is cold rather than lashing out immediately after being provoked. Before reacting, take a few deep breaths or take a week off. Take the time you need to think first; this provides you with the space and confidence in yourself that you need to act in your best interests over time. You may believe you understand everything, but we've all had experiences when we thought we understood what was going on, only to be smacked in the face by reality. Take nothing for granted, distrust your own stories, ideas, and emotions, think about how you feel, and then behave in a manner you approve of in the future from a more grounded place. Consider what they said, what they could mean (hint: it's not what you believe), what they want, and what you want. They might be right, and you might be right, but it's more likely that you're both right, unable to recognise that the other exists in a different universe than you. Consider this problem in the context of all the others you have and take notice of any trends in the challenges you continue to face; there may be a larger story at work.
After you've pondered the situation, whether it was a quick thought-through at the moment or an investigation of all aspects of the issue over the course of time, you have gathered enough knowledge to evaluate what you want to do about the problem. The critical question is: What do you want in the long run? What kind of relationship do you want? What would it look and feel like? How would you behave and perceive each other? You may believe your actions are justified because you want to prove that your partner was wrong. If you strive to win fights as if they were battles, you will wind up with a defeated partner, which is not a formula for a successful long-term relationship.
Consider how you would react if the tables were turned and your partner behaved similarly. Is it in your best interests to behave the way you do, or will it lead to singledom or a life of misery? Think about your thoughts and play them out in your head. Ask yourself what you would do if they did what you're doing or thinking about doing. What would the relationship look like if you kept doing what you're doing? Aim for your highest self, the best version of yourself, and the best version of your partner. Ask yourself what your best selves would do if your lives depended on it, and strive for that. You take the initiative to make changes rather than waiting for others to do so; doing so puts you in the driver's seat, increasing the likelihood that you will succeed in your intended goal; set an example for others to follow.
When I deal with couples that fight, I frequently say, "I don't care if you fight; I am happy to send you home with boxing gloves; it's not my problem; I just care that you are winning." When I question whether they are winning at debating, they usually give me a guilty smile. When you disagree with your partner, victory is when you both articulate your concerns, emotions, thoughts, and wants in a manner that pulls you closer together rather than driving you farther away. The embrace after the argument is the victory; if you don't hug and make up after arguing, the relationship will deteriorate due to built-up bitterness. Learn to win by speaking more effectively and listening more intently. If you have to employ coercion in any manner, this is merely cheating and will cost you more in the long run.
At this point, action is required, and you have three choices: repair, break, or ignore. Making a decision is a complicated process that is beyond the scope of this essay. You must take action because inaction is still a choice not to do anything. If you want to mend things, you must commit to doing what you can on your end rather than attempting to fix your partner; this includes pointing out their faults. Actions that result in an honest, open, and free-to-be-you connection between you and your partner are what you should strive for. The goal of resolving issues is to convey your point of view and what you want correctly; the other person's action is up to them.
Suppose you want to solve a problem with your partner and bring your relationship closer together. In that case, you need to consider how you can effectively communicate your problem and how you feel while hearing them fully. The common error is to blame the other person and attempt to manipulate the situation in your favour by getting one up or over on your partner; this usually ends poorly. Consider the purpose of your actions. What are you hoping to achieve by doing what you are thinking of doing? Will your action achieve your aim and be beneficial to both you and your partner?
If you wish to end things, you're indicating you're done, which is OK. Knowing when to stop is a vital skill. The first question is: Did you settle the problem you were putting on them? Could it have been you pushing this? Is this a trend you have seen in the past? If this is the case, you should correct yourself before leaving because you will continue to make the same mistake without realising it.
The most common problem when making a decision is basing it on a misleading tale. Many clients tell me that they are unable to attain their objectives due to their partner. The world is not fixed; I find everything is possible if we choose. From the outside perspective, I see possible paths to the desired goal, yet I often hear "yes, but" comments from clients. I'm sure that most problems are caused by not seeing how to solve them, not by a lack of hope. It would be better to have a good attitude and be patient rather than wait for your partner to get better first. For those who are overly enthusiastic: your drive may seem optimistic to you, but it may be the very thing pushing them away, meaning no action would do you more good than wanting to talk or do an activity yet again.
Understanding what you want from an argument before entering it might help you focus on your aims and avoid becoming diverted by unimportant concerns. When you know what you want to accomplish, you can lead the discussion and communicate your desires more effectively. For example, if you want your partner to understand how their actions have impacted you, you may state that and focus on that rather than getting caught up in an argument over something completely different. Also, if you have a clear goal, you can avoid getting stuck in a roundabout of unproductive conversation, which can be frustrating for both sides. Do not make it your goal to prove you are right; if you have to prove something, ask yourself why.
It is also vital to remember that communication is a two-way street, so actively listening and being open to your partner's point of view is essential. Understanding and validating each other's sentiments will increase your chances of reaching an acceptable settlement for both of you. This may also aid in the development of trust and respect in the relationship, which can aid in the prevention of similar situations in the future. Keep in mind that while addressing issues with your partner, it is essential to stay calm and not personalise the situation; instead, strive to comprehend and concentrate on the problem rather than the person.
When talking with your partner, it's critical to consider your approach, timing, and surroundings. The correct environment may have a significant influence on how the talk goes. Instead of bringing up crucial things right away when your partner comes home from work, try to choose a moment when both of you are free of stress and distractions. It can be a good idea to inform your partner ahead of time that you'd like to talk about it and to inquire about their availability at a time that works for both of you. It's also critical to be aware of your partner's emotional state. If they are anxious, sad, or depressed, it may be advisable to postpone essential discussions until they are in a better emotional state. If your partner hesitates to address a specific issue, refrain from urging them to do so. Instead, ask them when they are available to discuss it and respect their preferences. Remember that putting pressure on your partner will not make them more receptive to speaking and may drive them away. It's important to approach talks with your partner with patience and understanding. Being judgmental or argumentative may increase tension and make it harder for your partner to open up to you. Instead, approach the discussion with an open mind and a readiness to listen. When establishing the scene, it's best to go somewhere where both of you feel at ease and calm. This may be somewhere private, such as your house, or somewhere public, such as a park or coffee shop, as long as it creates an environment favourable to open and honest dialogue. When broaching a sensitive or complex subject, be precise and detailed about what you want to discuss. Rather than being ambiguous or cryptic, be upfront and express the purpose of the discussion. This will help your partner grasp the topic of the chat and prepare for it. It is also critical to remember that effective communication is a two-way street. Be open to hearing your partner's point of view and demonstrate that you actively listening by recognising their sentiments and reacting carefully. Interrupting or talking over your partner is not helpful.
If your exchange becomes negative, it is better to stop before it gets out of hand.
Knowing when to end an argument with a partner is critical. It may aid in the maintenance of emotional well-being, the prevention of relationship harm, the facilitation of problem-solving, the improvement of communication, and the better management of time and energy. Arguing can be emotionally draining and can escalate to the point where it is harmful to one or both partners; it demonstrates a toxic relationship. It can cause a breakdown in communication, and it can be a distraction from other important tasks and responsibilities. Ending a disagreement may help clear the air and establish a better environment for efficient communication. Ending a disagreement can be difficult and tricky; don't wait until it's too late, and try to be tactful.
Reflecting after a disagreement is beneficial for a variety of reasons. You will discover more about your emotions, which is particularly beneficial if the talk is challenging or emotional. Reviewing a discussion may assist you in identifying ways to enhance your communication skills. You can avoid having the same debate in the future. Consider when and why you grew defensive or dismissive throughout the talk. To learn from the encounter, identify helpful or positive components of it; it can show how to apply the same strategy or tools to improve later interactions. If the talk went well and you both understood one another, reflecting on it may consolidate your progress and make it easier to bring up the issue again later. If a conversation went badly, reflecting on it may help you figure out why and how to approach it better next time.
When dealing with an angry partner, it's important to express gratitude and shift the emphasis to the positive aspects of the relationship. This can lead to a more productive and pleasant atmosphere for resolving conflicts. It's essential to listen to and accept your partner's complaints and to address problems as they arise. Self-preservation can be a natural impulse, but it can also lead to destructive actions in a relationship. It's important to strike a balance between self-preservation and empathy, as well as successful communication. To do this, take control of your own actions and prioritise yourself to be able to assist others. It's also important to recognise that your partner may feel differently than you do and to distance yourself mentally sufficiently to be able to hear them.
To effectively communicate with your partner, it is crucial for you to listen attentively and without bias. This means recognising and putting aside your own baggage and biases so that you can listen to your partner's point of view without changing it or making it fit your own story. It also means being able to step back and remove yourself from the situation to listen and take mental notes without providing an opinion or making the conversation about yourself. It is important to remember that everyone has their own perspective on reality and that effective communication is a two-way street where both parties are heard and understood.
When dealing with conflicts in a relationship, it is essential not to react immediately and to take time to consider the situation before responding. To distrust your own emotions and stories and to behave in a way that you will approve of in the future from a more grounded place. Consider what the other person said, what it could mean, what they want, and what you want. Think about how you would react if the tables were turned and your partner behaved similarly. Aim for the best version of yourself and your partner. Learn to win by speaking more effectively and listening more intently. Avoid using coercion, as it will cost you more in the long run. A victory in a disagreement with your partner is when both of you articulate your concerns, emotions, thoughts, and wants in a manner that pulls them closer together rather than driving them farther apart.
When dealing with a problem in a relationship, it is important to take action. You should consider whether you want to repair, break, or ignore the problem. When trying to mend things with a partner, you should focus on how you can effectively communicate your problem and how you feel rather than trying to fix the other person. If the goal is to end things, consider if the problem has been resolved within you and if the issue is a trend seen in the past. Before entering an argument, understand what you want to accomplish and avoid becoming diverted by unimportant concerns. Active listening and being open to the partner's point of view are essential for effective communication. It is also critical to maintain your calm and avoid personalising the situation. Instead, it would be best if you strived to comprehend and concentrate on the problem rather than the person.
When communicating with your partner, it's essential to choose the right time and place and to be aware of their emotional state. Let them know ahead of time that you want to talk and give them time to prepare. Approach the conversation with patience and understanding, and try to go somewhere you both feel comfortable. Be upfront about what you want to discuss. Remember that communication is a two-way street, so be open to hearing your partner's point of view and actively listen to them. When discussing sensitive or difficult topics, it is important to know when to end the conversation if it becomes damaging. End the argument tactfully and in a timely manner to maintain emotional well-being, prevent harm to the relationship, facilitate problem-solving, improve communication, and manage time and energy effectively. Reflecting on the conversation after it ends can help you understand your emotions, identify ways to improve communication, avoid similar arguments in the future, and learn from the experience.
I hope you have found this article helpful and made you take a step back to think and feel a little more. If you would benefit from a more in-depth examination in relation to your personal circumstances, I offer one-off sessions via phone, video, and face-to-face.
Steve Day Therapy