Let’s face it- we can’t always prevent other peoples’ feelings from getting hurt. When it comes to relationships, though, ending it isn’t the only part of a relationship that can hurt. Throughout our time together we can be sarcastic, critical, and downright mean to our partners, even if we don’t intend to be.
When we become close to another person we start to depend on them for our emotional and physical needs. Not only do we react when they affect our emotional state, but we also react when they affect our physical selves or space. They might forget to get something you needed from the store or forget to run an important errand, even though you asked them more than a few times. Your frustration over that matter might overcome the knowledge that you love and adore the person you are in a relationship with.
We hurt one another when we feel hurt as well. This is a cycle that can be repeated and escalate in relationships until it hits a harmful, destructive level.
Here are three situations to watch out for with your partner that could lead to hurt feelings, but when handled correctly could bring you closer together:
- Pay attention. When you stop really listening to one another, you’re both going to get into trouble. Listening to your partner doesn’t just mean listening to their stories about their day or what they need you to do, but to also listen to what they aren’t saying. Communication in a relationship is so important and should never be undervalued. If you get caught not paying attention, apologize and try to do better.
- A lack of trust. If you or your partner feels the need to snoop through the other’s personal belongings, including a phone or computer, there are likely some serious trust issues brewing. Transparency in a relationship is very important, but you should also be able to trust that your partner is looking out for you. Invading the other person’s privacy creates rifts in your relationship and makes it harder to overcome issues you may have in the future.
- Pushing each other’s buttons. We know what makes our partner tick, and you might be tempted to push some of those buttons in the midst of a fight or a disagreement. These knock-down, drag out fights can lead to anger, emotional explosions, and going to bed without resolving your problems together in a constructive manner.
- Making decisions can be difficult when you are partnered up. You have to practice trust and compromise on a daily basis. When it comes to making decisions, do what you can to include your partner in those decisions. There are small and large choices that you need to make in life and in your relationship, which is made easier when you have a partner to back you up and support you.
Hurting others happens. We do it with our words and our actions, whether we mean it or not. We can learn to safely navigate other peoples’ feelings by holding our tongues during a fight, treating others and ourselves with compassion, and waiting out negative emotions before engaging with others.