What Do You Do When Your Girlfriend Has an Attitude All the Time?

Decide what you are willing to put up with, and set limits.
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Lately, it seems as though your girlfriend could play the role of Grumpy -- minus the beard -- in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Since she used to be a girl who made you feel like a prince, it's hard to know what to do. While some bad attitudes go away in time, others are a sign of a character defect that may cause you to question the relationship.

1 Set Boundaries

Name your limits, advises Psych Central associate editor Margarita Tartakovsky in the article, "10 Ways to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries." It's important to identify your limits, whether mental, emotional, physical or spiritual. It's likely your girlfriend's attitude is bringing you down. Help yourself cope with the situation by letting her know that you won't be participating in the conversation any more the next time she cops an attitude. Then back up your words by saying, "We can talk later when you're in a better mood," the next time she shows you disrespect.

2 Have a Heart-to-Heart

If your girlfriend is always in a bad mood whenever the two of you are together, sit down and ask her why that is. Point out that she doesn't seem happy when the two of you hang out, and see if she has any insight into why she's always so disagreeable. You may find out that she's tense over a family matter, or she may have concerns about your relationship that she feels unable to address. With luck, clearing the air will help to clear up her bad attitude as well.

3 Keep Your Distance

If your girlfriend's attitude continues to be a problem, put some distance between the two of you to give her space to consider whether she really wants to spend time with you. Occupy your time with other activities, such as building that fire pit you've always wanted in the backyard, or joining the group of guys at the park to play soccer. When the two of you are together, she may put her poor attitude on ice as she begins to sense that you're not interested in serving as the scapegoat for the issues in her life.

4 Reconsider Your Relationship

Sometimes a crummy attitude can cross the line into emotional abuse. Signs of such abuse include yelling, ridiculing, being overly bossy, sulking and withholding affection, says researcher Vera Mouradian, Ph.D., in the article, "Abuse in Intimate Relationships: Defining the Multiple Dimensions and Terms," published by the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center. Whether your girlfriend is abusive or not, however, you should consider whether you want to continue a relationship with someone who doesn't consider your emotional well-being when you're together. Remember that dating is a "trial run" of sorts, and accept that your girlfriend simply may not be the one for you.

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.