Problems are like food: when they come out of the oven, they are hot & upsetting! Emotions can boil and bubble up, and if we aren’t careful we might get “burned.”
However, most people don’t like dealing with confrontation, so they just box up the upset and take it home to stick in the fridge for later. And just like food, after a while, the anger, frustration, sadness, and resentment start to go bad. Now it’s grown into something else that’s no longer palatable. Think about pizza: it’s delicious fresh, and still good after one or two days. But a month-old pizza? Or a THREE-YEAR-OLD pizza?! Terrifying! Except we do this with our emotions all the time.
Think about what it feels like when someone upsets you and they don’t acknowledge it or apologize. That feeling you have starts to grow and change how you see that person. When you hold onto that feeling, let’s say anger, it affects the entire relationship. I have seen wonderful relationships fall apart because people didn’t want to deal with their problems. The anger eventually comes out, and when it does, it’s wayyy worse when it’s 3 years old than 3 days old.
So here is something you can do in order to avoid this nasty fate:
-> Check in with each other after the upset. Most people think that just because the yelling has stopped, it means the upset is handled. It’s not! The feelings are still there, and they don’t simply disappear. So check in. Ask questions like: “Hey are we okay? Is there anything else you wanna say about what happened? Is there anything else that we need to talk about?” They might say no, they might say yes, but either way the opportunity to clean it up is important.
Remember, different people can be upset by different things so don’t assume that everything is fine. It’s better to ask and work through it now OR you can wait until their upset is so big that your relationship looks like that moldy pizza in your refrigerator… and no one wants to eat that!
Want to create better communication in your relationship? Grab a spot in my free Masterclass – How to Communicate: Relationship Edition!
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