Have you ever been annoyed at your significant other? Sometimes I wonder if I get more annoyed at my wife, or she gets more annoyed at me. In a recent survey, men and women were asked what they found to be the most annoying time wasters of their spouses or significant others.
The women responded:
- Play video games
- Work too much
- Do nothing (The ironic thing is that this response was tied with “work too much”)
- Zone in front of the TV
The men responded:
- Primp and get ready
- Stare at a closet full of clothes and whine, “I have nothing to wear”
I find this to be quite accurate from my wife and my perspective as well. I have to agree that I am slightly annoyed whenever my wife looks at all her clothes as says, “I have nothing to wear” or “I don’t know what to wear”.
So who’s fault is it that men and women get annoyed at each other? It’s natural to think that what the other person is doing is annoying to you, so it is their fault. But really, it is your own fault that you are annoyed. That’s right. Read this again. It’s your own fault that you are annoyed at your significant other. So don’t blame them. Blame yourself.
Let me explain. The reason that you are annoyed at another person is that you do not understand them. From your own limited perspective, you think what they are doing is ridiculous, or a waste of time, or a waste of energy, or stupid, or idiotic, etc. I don’t understand why my wife takes so long to get ready to get out of the house. I especially don’t understand because I don’t take nearly as long.
The reality of the situation is that I am annoyed because I have not taken the time to understand my wife’s perspective.
[now pause for a moment and let the reality of this sink in... ]
Would you like to get less annoyed at your spouse? I would. So let me share with you what has worked for me. Next time you get annoyed at your significant other, here’s what to do.
1) Assume that your wife or husband has a good reason for doing what they do. My wife is not an unreasonable person (most of the time). And I hope you are dating (or married) to a good, reasonable person as well. When my wife looks at her closet full of clothes and says she has nothing to wear, she has a good reason to do so. If I assume that she has a good reason, then it will prompt me to try to understand her. If I assume that she is crazy, then I will not take the time to understand her (because why would you want to understand a crazy person?)
2) Take time to understand your significant other’s perspective. Wait until your frustration has decreased. It’s a bad idea to have this discussion when you feel the most annoyed. Give it some time. Then ask thoughtful questions, listen, and try to understand. You will be amazed at how understanding the other’s perspective significantly decreases your annoyance with them. For example, here is an article that explains why women complain they have no clothes to wear.
3) Repeat. Repeat, repeat, and repeat again. Make it a goal to understand your wife or husband. It is important to remember that you are not married to a static person that never changes. The fun part is that your spouse continues to grow and change with every day, so there is always something new to learn about them.
Minimizing the times you get annoyed with your spouse increases the health of your relationship. This is a no brainer. So keep this in mind if you are hoping to build a good relationship with your significant other. In fact, this applies to all your relationships – your parents, your siblings, your friends, your co-workers, etc.
Try it and let me know how it goes.