How to Have Control of My Emotions in Front of My Boyfriend

Emotional outbursts can lead to resentment and distance in a relationship.
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Whether you are plagued by bursts of anger or sadness, losing control of your emotions in front of your boyfriend can be cause of frequent embarrassment. In even more extreme cases, bursts of negative emotions might even damage your relationship. Fortunately, there are many ways to successfully manage your emotions. The effectiveness of each method may vary based on the situation and the person, so experiment until you find something that works for you.

1 Breathing Techniques

Use breathing exercises for immediate relief from your negative emotions. As you take slow, deep breaths, imagine yourself breathing in positive emotion and exhaling negativity, such as fear and anger. In its article "Strategies for Controlling Your Anger," the American Psychological Association (APA) states that breathing from the chest won’t effectively calm you down, so breathe from your diaphragm for better results. The APA also suggests keeping a relaxing image or a calming word in the back of your mind that you combine with breathing exercises.

2 Take a Break

When you feel an outburst coming, excuse yourself from the room. During this break, you could practice the aforementioned breathing exercise, call a close friend or simply take some time to mutter obscenities to yourself. The point here is to excuse yourself before you say something to your boyfriend that you might regret later. Only return when you’ve calmed down or at least gathered your thoughts.

3 Perspective Exercises

Take a moment to reassess your perspective. For example, picture someone who has faced worse problems than the one you’re currently upset about. You could even imagine a time in your past that was more worthy of an emotional outburst. The challenge here is to tell yourself that compared to other situations, your current problem isn’t so bad. By developing a healthy sense of perspective, even the seemingly large problems become small things that aren’t worth your emotional reaction.

4 Non-Confrontational Talk

In the article "Managing Strong Emotions," the University of Colorado's Conflict Research Consortium suggests that you attempt to express yourself in a non-confrontational way if your emotions arise in the course of an argument. For example, avoiding using statements that assign blame to your boyfriend, who will likely retort with words that will only spur your anger. Consider using one of the other mentioned exercises before you decide to use this method, which is mostly designed to help you both seek a fair solution to a problem without complicating your already tense emotions.

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.