Let’s face it, we all get irritated by our partners, or friends, or family members. This week, Amy asks the great question about how to handle her partner always talking at her. Corrina, our wise relationship coach, gives great guidance on how to handle it. Even if you are single, it contains sage wisdom for all.
Q: My partner’s a great guy but he often talks at me when I’m trying to get on with something. This has happened twice today already! This morning, I was about to start yoga and he wanted to discuss our evening plans.
And then this afternoon I’d allocated time to get work done and he said he had a quick question so I paused to listen to him… and half an hour later we were still in conversation!
By the time I got back to work, I’d lost my train of thought. I get so frustrated by these delays and then become really snappy and short with him.
I find this drip-drip of frequent interruptions like a kind of Chinese water torture – and I hate to say this but sometimes I wish I were single so I could have some time to think.
How can I relax around this rather than getting annoyed? – Amy
A: Hey Amy, great question; this is a situation that lots of people can relate to.
Firstly, ask yourself a couple of questions:
– Who delayed starting my yoga class – me or him?
– Who stopped me doing my work – me or him?
It unsettles us when we don’t honour our plans and it’s easy to displace that annoyance onto our nearest and dearest and tell the story that it was THEIR fault we were delayed.
You want to feel more peaceful about this – so commit to letting go of victim mode. Choose to take full responsibility. YOU got off your yoga mat. YOU stopped doing work. YOU said yes to listening to his question.
It can be hard to own this because we like to displace our frustration – but it’s so much more powerful (and satisfying) to fully own your decisions and actions.
Notice where you give mixed messages – where you say “Yes” when you really mean “No”. Get curious about what honesty could look like instead. For example, in that same situation, clear honest communication might look like this:
“I’d love to talk about this and I’ll be available in 45 minutes” or “Will it take less than 5 minutes? Great, I’ll pop my alarm on as I’d like to be on the mat by 11am. If it needs more discussion, let’s chat again later.”
When you trust yourself to be honest, you can relax. Your partner’s no longer the enemy, doing this crime of interruption to you. You can trust YOU to protect yourself from this drip-drip water torture!
From a place of full power and responsibility, you might discover other options that would work ongoing too – like wearing headphones while you’re at work, letting your partner know in advance that you’ll be unavailable for the next hour, or even putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.
There’s so much freedom and peace available when you own your decisions and let go of blaming others. When you trust in your own ability to say “no” when you mean no, you’ll be able to fully relax.
Corrina Gordon-Barnes is a relationship coach who helps us to love our loved ones better. Whether you want more connection with your partner, to be more patient with your child, or to deeply enjoy time spent with your parent or sibling, sign up for her free 7-day relationship challenge here.