Why we get angry over small things in relationships
- happy and talking about life
- eating (maybe chewing just a tad ‘too’ loud)
- accidentally spill something
- leave clothes on the floor
- don’t make the bed
- speak too loudly
When we’re on the receiving end of this, it’s common for us to feel emotionally abandoned, criticized, afraid, and resentful towards our partner. It’s also common to question the relationship during these times. On the other hand, when we feel this way about someone else (meaning all of a sudden we feel very angry or judgmental towards our partner) it’s common to feel so overwhelmed by the negative emotions that we feel like we can’t stop ourselves from reacting negatively and can’t see beyond our negative emotions (even though we might want to).
A key thing to understand about this is that these situations are not ‘bad’, and they don’t mean that the relationship is not a good fit or that there is no love. As soon as we label something as bad, we start to blame, judge, and reject everything around us – including our partner and ourselves – and then feel sad, fearful, angry, or worried. Of course, feeling sad, fearful, angry, or worried doesn’t help us optimally navigate the situation by making wise, calm, collected, intentional choices. It doesn’t help us maintain an internal state of intentionality, self-love, and inner-peace that will allow us to navigate that situation consciously. It’s useful to learn to make peace with these difficult, seemingly threatening situations so that they no longer trigger us. That way, no matter what the emotional processes of those around us, we can remain peaceful, joyful, accepting, and loving and continue navigating towards our goals.
What’s actually happening when our partner get’s intensely angry over little things is that they are reliving past pain and trauma and actually ‘venting’ it, expressing it, and reprocessing it using the relationship. That’s a “GOOD” thing because by venting it, they can discover it, learn from it and release it! Relationships are actually vehicles for exactly this kind of processing. Whatever partner we choose, this type of situation is going to come up! Making peace with this and learning to wisely navigate these situations is important because this happens in every relationship – with parents, spouses, children, friends, family members, colleagues and strangers. We need not take this anger that seems to come about for nothing or no reason personally or as permanent – it is temporary and shall pass – especially if we don’t react. In fact, when we don’t react in situations like this our partner will often realize that they got triggered and learn a lot from it. This means that if we stay calm and loving during these situations, we can actually act as mirror and help our partner transcend that prior pain and trauma they’re re-experiencing. Please watch the video for more information on this common relationship dynamic.
If you can relate to getting angry over small things and you’d like to understand how to clear that, you can use meditation to introspect on what triggered you. Once you find the trigger (maybe it was the sound of them chewing, for example), you can then identify why that brought up so much emotion for you. For example, if it was the sound of them chewing, you can introspect on why that triggers you. Did you get punished for this in your childhood? Was this something you saw someone else get punished for once? Why does it bother you? Are you making any “if this, then that” projections about it? For example – “if they chew loudly then…” or “if I chew loudly then…”. In meditation, you can fill in these blanks to understand what your subconscious mind is projecting (which is, in turn, what your emotional system is reacting to so strongly). This is a process of analytical meditation and can help you transcend negative emotions. For help with this process consider a spiritual counseling session. Our 1-1 facilitation can help you make a lot of progress and open new doors.
So glad I found this page me an my husband are having these issues as I speak we been together for 13 an married 9 years
Glad to be of service Wendy. Understandable to have these issues even after 13 years. I hope you continue to work through it. We have a free course on our home page. It’s still in rough draft phase and you may find the audio recordings and videos useful. All the best!
I don’t agree with this, why does it have to be problem that happened to me in some other time/scenario? Can’t it be just because chewing loudly for example, is something that is just generally annoying, unpleasant, not nice etc. and the fact that the partner is not even trying to do something about it for example, is the very thing that makes us angry (no matter how many times we have had the conversation or heard the promises that they will try and do better next time)?
Excellent questions. Usually things are not what they appear. If something triggers anger, frustration, annoyance – if we have any aversion to anything – it is usually because of some fear/misunderstanding/pain in our system that we are projecting on to the other person. We have the freedom to find internal peace regardless of others actions. The approach I’ve stated in the article will help you get to the root of pain in yourself and beyond the process of judging others or anything as annoying, unpleasant, not nice etc. Certainly, your emotions are valid. And, it can be helpful to take full accountability for our aversions if we want to approach our lives with inner-peace and the highest qualities of wisdom and discernment. If you meditate on this and contemplate it rather than misinterpret it at face value, I think you will see what I’m pointing to. Lots and lots of love to you vdcxv.
My partner gets so angry, in my face, and gets very aggressive, forceful. He doesn’t calm when I don’t react, but rather gets more angry, frustrated, and needs to ‘be heard’, and expects a specific reaction/apology/validation or he will only erupt worse. Why is this?
Hi Lee, this is because your partner feels like he NEEDS you to see and understand what he feels and perceives. This feeling of NEED is driven by fear and thus attachment or aversion to a certain outcome. In these situations, if you work with him to just calmly understand and help him feel heard, it could be helpful. Lots of love, Dexter
Tell him that you will be able to listen to him better if he expresses himself more calmly.
Don’t force yourself to listen to someone who is yelling at you. Yelling does not lead to productive conversation.
It’s important to take pauses of time when things get heated so you can come back and speak calmly.
Tell him you will not listen to him when he is yelling at you, and leave the room.
Thank you for this! Thank you thank you thank you. Very helpful. Wow.
I have been getting angry and annoyed at my partner for sometime now i even end up saying things I regret in the morning. Reading this has been helpful I have even known why I have reacted like this.
Hi Dexter, I discovered that I get angry easily to my partner or friends when it has to do with Disappointments, I detest it so much and I find myself reacting badly and sometimes saying nasty words which I hate, I also found out that I’m not patient so I get angry when one doesn’t listen to me or wastes my time, there is this guy, he is a great guy and Loves me and wants something serious with me but each time I find myself busting out on him each time we talk on the phone, I cut him off sometimes especially when he isn’t hearing me out or not listening or respecting my points on a particular thing Or issue .. I know I’m wrong, I have tried to stop reacting that way to him, But I still end up doing so most times ,he is so patient but I am scared he might get tired of my character and leave me, I love him and I don’t intentionally wish to treat him that way.
I’m in so much pain and I’m very angry quickly