By Mia Summers
Author of Conversation Chemistry
Discover the REAL way to communicate with men so that they WANT to open up to you.
3 Tips For Understanding His Negativity
You know how it feels when your partner does something that REALLY irritates you … but he refuses to do anything about it?
Sometimes it seems like men take deliberate pleasure in annoying us. It’s almost as if they LIKE seeing us get mad.
If you and your man are finding yourselves trapped in a cycle of nagging and infuriating one another, then read on.
TIP #1. UNDERSTAND WHY HE’S DOING IT
Think back to your grade school days. What was your opinion of boys back then: were they annoying or interesting?
For a lot of girls, boys are almost like another species. They shove each other, put disgusting crawly things on the teacher’s desk, and make fun of everything. Whereas girls share and talk endlessly, boys are busily fighting and mastering the art of the put-down.
If a boy wanted to get a girl’s attention, he assumed that he could treat her like he would treat another boy. He would tease her, pull her hair, or shove her, all in an attempt to say, “Let’s play!”
So, when the girl burst out in tears and shouted, “I hate you!”, the boy would end up feeling genuinely confused. He thought that he was just being friendly.
Fast-forward twenty years, and you’ll see that men haven’t changed THAT much from their playground days. They still take endless delight in one-liners and competing on the sports field. And many STILL don’t understand women.
To see if your man is still stuck in the playground, look at how he acts around his male friends.
If he treats YOU the same way he treats them, then he may not realize that women have to be treated more gently. He may think that you’re getting mad at him is all a big game.
AN ALTERNATE EXPLANATION
But it isn’t always the juvenile spirit inside your man that’s causing him to do things that he knows will annoy you.
He may simply be USED to a dynamic in which you’re the one nagging and he’s the one deliberately doing things to provoke you.
He may have learned from his parents or a previous relationship that this kind of dynamic was NORMAL for a relationship.
He may actually think that it’s normal for a man to ignore his partner’s needs. He may feel more comfortable dodging your requests than addressing them. He may think that, if he does what you want, he’ll be giving up some of his power.
If this is the case, then you’re dealing with some pretty entrenched beliefs.
If you’re with a man who’s stuck in an outdated, traditional view of relationships, then you need to have a serious talk about what it means to be partners.
Being partners does not involve being locked in a power struggle where he resists doing anything you ask him to and you end up always sounding like the bad guy for nagging.
A man is NOT less of a man because he does what a woman asks. You know this, and I know this. But HE may not know this.
Talk to him about what’s going on, and help him see that it makes you feel ignored and undervalued when he doesn’t help with anything you ask.
Once he understands how you feel, make a promise that you’ll only ask him to do things once. After that, you won’t say anything.
Yes, disaster may ensue. The garbage may not get taken out, clothes may go unfolded, and dinner may be sparse without any milk or bread. But say nothing.
Either he’ll start doing things on his own accord without asking, or you’ll start realizing that a lot of the things you “needed” him to do weren’t that important after all.
TIP #2. LEARN TO LAUGH AND LET GO
Sometimes, men irritate us just because they exist.
When you’re PMS-ing, feeling stressed, or having a bad day, the slightest thing anyone does can set you off.
And, because your man is often the closest person around, he becomes the target.
Learn to recognize when you’re feeling sensitive or irritable, and take steps to control it.
For example, you may want to apologize in advance for being in a bad mood or not feeling well, so that your partner understands that the irritable edge in your voice has nothing to do with him.
You may want to go to a private room for a while and sit for fifteen minutes, focusing on breathing in and out slowly or listening to calming music.
Or, you may wish to excuse yourself and go out for a while until you’ve worked out your bad mood.
The one thing you DON’T want to do is take out your mood on your partner.
Men are often scared of the volatility of female moods. They don’t understand why we’re up one moment and down the next. They wish we could be more like them: stable, logical, even emotionless.
So when you’re feeling angry, upset, or irritable, you might want to be extra gentle with those people around you. Recognize that they’re picking up on your strong mood and feeling affected by it.
The best course of action you can take is to learn to laugh a lot more.
Many of us – myself include – have a tendency to take things seriously when there’s no need. We get upset over little things and imagine great disaster scenarios out of one small hiccup in our plans.
Don’t get upset over something until it’s actually happened. And where everything else is concerned, try to see the humor in it.
If you can learn to laugh and let go of life’s small misfortunes, you will be the ideal woman for a man. Men LOVE it when a woman’s spirit is resilient. They love it when they can rely on a woman to not go to pieces at the slightest sign of trouble.
So the next time you want to get upset at your man, see if you can laugh it off and let go. You’ll both feel better for it.
TIP #3. ASK YOURSELF WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON
Just as we have bad moods, men have bad moods, too.
When your man is in a bad mood, he may pretend like he’s not hearing you. He may slouch on the sofa with the television turned up loud and ignore your requests to help with the dinner.
Similarly, men who are feeling insecure will also act out in petulant ways. A man who feels like his position of power has been threatened – such as through problems at work – will start more arguments at home.
So the next time your man does something to really annoy you, ask yourself if there’s anything behind it.
Was he just being forgetful? Did he really not know that his behavior bothered you? Was he upset about something else that had nothing to do with you? Or is there some underlying tension in your relationship that you’re not aware of?
Often, all it takes is sitting down with your man and compassionately and caringly asking him how he’s doing to discharge those negative feelings.
Most people get distracted by a number of small arguments or disagreements that are actually symptoms of a deeper issue.
For example, let’s say that your man has just been laid off from work.
You think, “Great! He can help around the house more.”
You bravely shoulder the business of supporting the family financially, and you expect your partner to be proactive in getting a new job.
Instead, your partner does nothing but lie around the house all day.
He criticizes you for not having dinner ready when YOU come home from work!
He’s hopeless at the laundry or taking care of the kids. He even says that you shouldn’t be working, because you should be home taking care of the housework.
You’re thinking: “What the heck is going on?”
The problem is not that your partner doesn’t respect you. The problem is not that your partner can’t do homework or find a new job.
Rather, the problem is your partner’s feelings of self-doubt.
Being laid off is a huge shock to self-esteem. For a man, especially, their job can be their main source of personal identity and pride.
When a man loses his job, he starts to question everything. He feels guilty for letting you down, and, paradoxically, takes out those bad feelings on you.
So if you tried to “fix” your relationship problems by telling your partner how lazy and unhelpful he is, you’d actually be making the real problem – his low self-esteem – worse!
I’m sure you can think of many more examples where the root of an issue isn’t what it seemed to be on the surface.
You have to extend a little compassion for your man if you want to help him through his bad moods.
Even if he’s taking that bad mood out on you, you have to be able to look past that behavior and see that, underneath, he actually is feeling insecure and bad about himself.
It may seem really strange to try and make your partner feel better about himself when he’s just said something rude to you, but the proof is in the results.
So the next time your partner does something to annoy you, think of these three tips and try to react differently. You’ll keep getting into the same arguments until you try something new!
By the way, if you’re interested in working on your conversational skills, there’s a video I made that talks about doing this.
I’ve put together a solid blueprint that will greatly improve anyone’s social abilities, no matter what level they’re at.
It’s called Conversation Chemistry, and it has everything you need to instantly connect with anyone and get them hooked on your awesome personality.
This is a great tool you can use in any kind of social situation to help you flourish even under pressure.