How to tell your partner you are upset, without causing them to get defensive….


Argue Respectfully

Often, when someone does something to you that you do not like, we confront the issue.  Most people go in and tell the person exactly how they have been wronged. Here is an example. Have you ever said something like this…

I can’t believe you left me hanging again! Don’t you realize how inconsiderate you are being? All you think about is your self! You can’t show up on time for anything, you always have me waiting. You were late last week for lunch.  Last month, we were late to seeing the new Mission Impossible movie and now we are going to keep my parents waiting.  I really can’t stand it when you have to do this! You have to change. You can be such a #@%^&$#!

Now, I will discuss everything that is wrong with the previous statements.

1.)You probably swear because it is easy and expressive. Swearing doesn’t get you romantically connected.

2.) Avoid using ‘You Statements”! You-Statements are phrases that begin with the pronoun “you” and imply that the listener is personally responsible for something. Therefore resulting in them getting defensive.

3.) Replace the you’s with I’s!

4.) Tell that person exactly how you feel.  I feel …

Now, here is a counter-argument for the one above…

I feel really angry right now.  It doesn’t feel good to wait, and it doesn’t feel good to keep my family waiting, either.  I don’t want to be nagging all the time, and I really don’t know what to do. What do you think we could do to fix this?

Any thoughts about this?