Honestly speaking, all of us at one point or the other would be irritated by certain things about our partner and what they do. Things you didn’t know before you got married or things you knew whilst dating your partner that irritates you to death, but don’t know how to make them change for the better so that you’ll become more comfortable with them.
In a relationship or marriage, how do you bring up these things that irritates you in a more positive way so that you’re likely to see changes? Shooting them in with criticism is not going to help. Let’s look at some of the helpful steps to take:
1. Choose your setting: by setting I mean three things :
- Time : Is the timing right? Choose a convenient time to relate this matter to him, hence, you’ll end up achieving nothing. Let’s take for example, it’s usually convenient to share irritable stuffs about your partner that you want to see changes for after a meal, rather than before a meal because as the saying goes, “A hungry man is an angry man” is so true. When we are hungry, we can be irritated easily.
- Place : The place should be private, never in front of other people. You bring it in front of other people, it’s a put down, ‘a falling hand’ as commonly said in Nigeria English vernacular. You bring it up in private when just two of you are there. In public, learn to brag about your partner and eulogize their good part.
- Feelings of your spouse: Do they feel like they can take a suggestion now? Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t. Imagine having a spouse who really had a rough day with alot of bad breaks at work or dealing with other people, coming home to finally rest would hardly be in the mood to take any suggestion. The resultant effect of bringing up an issue like this, would be an unprecedented explosion and outburst. Why did he explode? Because your suggestions wasn’t just in the right frame of time.
2. Don’t give an overdose:
We are naturally inclined to do this. We hold and edge in alot of anger, bitterness and resentment against our partner stemming from their wrong irritable attitude towards us, and when we had it up to the neck we throw out all the pressure of what we like to see them change. But the reality is, once we’ve started, we keep pouring it on . It could be that you just wanted to say one thing but you’re out with five to six things that you aren’t comfortable with. The response of course becomes defensive from the other end, and you end up killing their motivation to change. They are not going to change a thing and might even shoot you too, excavating your wrong behaviours that they’re not comfortable with also. Quarrel then ensue and you both drift away wounded without changing a thing.
3. The sandwich :
Just before you give them areas to make changes, give them at least three compliment. Tell them three things you like about them or what they did and then point out gently the areas you want to see them change. That’s the sandwich.
You are more likely to see positive change when you dress your suggestions in a positive way than a condemning way.
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Alabi Miracle. A law student of Ambrose Alli university Ekpoma with interest in writing.