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Dealing with a partner which can be rude to strangers

U

user_4565

New member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Israel
My partner is a goodhearted person, but sometimes she has intense anxiety and panic because of some associations with past events.

In these moments she can come off as rude and not courteous - for example she can talk intensely and loudly, or behave confrontationally. People who know and love her her came to accept it as a part of her personality, but for strangers this treatment may come as pretty offensive and unfair.

I used to be harsh with her about these episodes, scold her or distance myself to let her understand it is unacceptable for me. With time I came to understanding that this kind of treatment is counterproductive, makes her feel unsafe and that no one has her back, and that only makes her more anxious and less in control of her emotions, or causes her to shut down and be very unresponsive, and that it's not something that she can "just get over it and behave properly".

In the same time, if I don't do anything about that or am agreeing with her, it makes me feel responsible and complicit in the behavior that I find unacceptable, and also puts me into confrontation with people who really don't deserve it.

I wonder how can I find a way to show her love and acceptance on one hand, and diffuse the situation with other people and make them understand that it's not about them on the other hand.
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

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May 25, 2020
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Hello and welcome to the forum. You are in a difficult situation. I wonder if your partner would benefit from therapy to address the past events. It may help her to manage her emotions.
 
U

user_4565

New member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Israel
Yes we are working on it, she'd been in some.
She is pretty suspicious of therapists as well, so we are yet to find one that is effective for her.
But she's making progress and it's nothing like it used to be, she improved significantly.

I believe most of her improvement came when I changed my behavioral patterns and became more accepting, so I am trying to help this progress.
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

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You are such a supportive partner. I really hope you can find a therapist she feels comfortable with.
 
LittleMissNameless

LittleMissNameless

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Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
425
Location
canada
Tell her that a behavior or action she does makes you feel. make it clear its not her but an action shes doing and be flexible enough to compromise a solution.
For example:
"When you said XXX to that stranger/employee/my coworker I felt uncomfortable maybe in the future if you are feeling that way you can signal to me and we can find a better coping strategy together?"

as long as you approach it in a team-based way and don't place blame I am sure you two can communicate a solution together
 
R

Rex Smith

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Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
219
Location
San Diego
I used to be harsh with her about these episodes, scold her or distance myself to let her understand it is unacceptable for me. With time I came to understanding that this kind of treatment is counterproductive, makes her feel unsafe and that no one has her back, and that only makes her more anxious and less in control of her emotions, or causes her to shut down and be very unresponsive, and that it's not something that she can "just get over it and behave properly".

In the same time, if I don't do anything about that or am agreeing with her, it makes me feel responsible and complicit in the behavior that I find unacceptable, and also puts me into confrontation with people who really don't deserve it.

I wonder how can I find a way to show her love and acceptance on one hand, and diffuse the situation with other people and make them understand that it's not about them on the other hand.
[/QUOTE]

Why do you think it's acceptable to scold, distance yourself, and be unsupportive? Did she start what you call unacceptable behavior after you met? My guess is she's the same person all her life. If you can't accept someone for who they are then why are you in a relationship with them? Depending on the person it might be impossible for them to transform into the person you want them to be. It's best to find like minded individuals than someone you don't accept with the notion you'll be able to change them.

As for everyone else, who cares what they think or feel. Your encounter with them is brief where your relationship is ongoing. It's also not your responsibility to interject for other people sake. You're not the parent.
 
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