When your boyfriend does something that makes you angry, you might want to fly off the handle, but you know you shouldn’t. It’s important that you address conflicts in your relationship with maturity. If you did something that made him angry, you wouldn’t want him to scream at you, so treat him the way you would want to be treated: with honesty, but also compassion. Furthermore, you will do your relationship a service when you address the source of your anger instead of bottling your angry feelings and leaving the conflict unresolved.
Collect Your Thoughts
Before discussing any conflict with your boyfriend, collect your thoughts, recommends Rori Raye in an article for eHarmony titled “Express Your Anger Without Pushing Him Away.” Sit down and take several deep breaths. Consider what it is that you are angry about. Ask yourself what he did, how it made you feel and why it made you feel that way. Figure out what you would like him to do differently. Once you’ve calmed down and collected your thoughts, you’re ready to communicate with him.
Use "I" Statements
“You” statements, such as “you made me mad” or “you are being inconsiderate,” will make your boyfriend feel attacked and blamed, and he’s likely to get mad in return. It’s important to express your feelings, but focus on yourself by using “I” statements, suggests Raye. Statements such as “I feel overlooked” or “I feel hurt” will put the focus on your feelings and will guide the conversation toward the goal of helping both parties to understand each other.
Focus your conversation on your feelings about one specific event. This can be hard if you’ve been bottling up your feelings for a long time, but if you start to bring up issues from the past or other problems unrelated to the present moment, your boyfriend will wonder what exactly you’re so mad about, says psychologist Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps in her essay “Five Guidelines for Resolving Conflict With Your Partner." So tell him what exactly is making you feel bad. Say “I feel overlooked when you cancel plans with me because your friends called with a last-minute idea” or “I feel hurt because it seems like you don’t want to have dinner with my family.”
Focus on Being Understood
The focus should never be on “winning” the argument but on communicating your feelings to your boyfriend so that he understands where you’re coming from, says Dr. Becker-Phelps. You should also make time to listen to how he feels, or why he chooses certain actions. Let him know what you would like him to do differently, but don’t expect to control his actions. In the end, finding a mutual solution to the problem is what matters.
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