We are all guilty of occasionally overreacting in anger or having moments or days when we are more irritable than usual. At times our partner may take the brunt our foul mood. Whether we are cranky or triggered, it would be most helpful to pause before acting in these situations. Remembering to pause and consider could prevent us from saying something that we can never take back. Before tearing into your partner, I suggest you pause. Check in with yourself:
Am I hungry?
Am I tired?
Am I upset with someone or something else?
We may also be able to help our partner do the same thing. Especially if we first bring it to their attention when they are not snapping at us.
The, “You’re not you when you’re hungry” slogan for Snickers Candy Bars makes a valid point. Low blood sugar may make us crankier. Hangry is the term used to describe anger that shows up when we are hungry.
Being tired can also make it more difficult to manage our emotions and to handle stressful situations. It is amazing how a good night's sleep can make a problem seem more manageable. Perhaps it has something to do with being able to think more clearly when we are well rested.
Bad moods tend to be contagious. All too often our partner makes a convenient target for our frustration with a co-worker, boss or situation. When we are stressed or overwhelmed, hurt or upset, we will be less tolerant of our partner’s requests or actions.
Before you say something to your partner that you may regret, PAUSE to consider if you are hungry, tired or upset with someone or something else.
Keep the following in mind:
Pick the time. Choosing a time when you are both well rested will improve the chances of a positive outcome.
Make sure you have both eaten. Starting the discussion on an empty stomach could lead to increased conflict.
Allow each other time to decompress. If either of you is dealing with stress at work or from another source, take some time to validate and support the other, before diving into your issue.