Controlling your actions and reactions is easier than it sounds. Over the course of our lives we have brought along baggage that sometimes causes us to react too quickly and also to overreact. This only makes things worse for our relationships. Something that could have been a simple misunderstanding is now a huge problem for the couple. What could have been talked about and worked out with cool heads, went over the top and caused more drama than a soap opera.
This is not always the fault of both people, sometimes one person can keep a level head but the other one always explodes too easily and/or makes mountains out of mole hills. You can’t do it alone, both parties have to try to keep their cool in order to stay together in a harmonious way.
It’s very hard to act like a sane adult when the one you love is acting like a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum. This is when it is most crucial to not join them with a temper tantrum of your own. Nothing positive will come of that, the only thing you will get is your part of the blame for what’s to come. Sure, they may try to blame you for it anyway, but at least you will know you have nothing to say you are sorry for, and nothing to be embarrassed about. Leave that to them.
But how can you control your actions and reactions? Here are some tips to do just that:
1. If you are trying to control your actions and reactions, have a plan ahead of time. You can even tell your partner about it in advance. Let’s say when you get angry your tendency is to insult your partner and yell. The next time you feel that urge, go take a walk around the neighborhood or go for a drive. Give yourself some time to cool down so your mind is in a better place and you are calmer. Go work out at the gym, or spend time doing something else, to take your mind off it and to release some steam.
2. Talk it through to yourself first, but keep asking yourself is this all worth losing your relationship? Is this worth the pain you are going to cause the one you love and possibly yourself? Ask yourself if you really believe they did or said whatever it is that got you so upset on purpose. Would they really do that to you? Or is that just what you are accusing them of? Is this just a misunderstanding or difference of opinion? What is your real purpose and gain to take this further? When you start to think about future consequences, it may help you to let go of the emotions and use your head rationally instead.
3. Instead of focusing on what you should say next or how you should defend yourself, simply take the time to listen. Don’t make it about you, even if they are talking about you. If your partner wants you to stop joking around so much because they feel you are not taking them seriously enough, don’t put it back on them. Don’t fight for your right to joke around with them so much. Why on earth would you do that? If the one you love is saying that something you are doing is making them feel bad, why wouldn’t you at least validate their feelings? You may not have meant it, but whether you did or not, they still felt bad. Wouldn’t a better course of action be to take some time to make them feel better? Isn’t that how you really win an argument, by both people feeling better and resolving an issue?
Emotions can get the better of us, but if you try hard enough, you can get a grip on controlling your actions and reactions and that will benefit your life in so many areas, not just your relationships.