When we become frustrated, we often feel the need to vent our frustrations about our partner. Talk a little badly about them to someone who may understand. Trash talk about them. I know that sounds harsh, but that is what you are doing when you go to someone else and talk about the negative, annoying things your partner is doing that are upsetting you. It is trash talking about them.
Many issues are caused by this seemingly typical behavior. What you say about your partner is an extension of what people will believe you feel about your partner. Do you want to project the image that you have all kinds of issues with them? I am going to assume the answer to that is No! So, let’s talk about why you should talk the trash TO your partner instead of about your partner.
It strengthens your bond.
I know that it sounds counter intuitive to think that talking badly about your partner to them would strengthen your bond. But think about it for a minute. If you love and trust a person, you value what they say. You value that they feel like your relationship is strong enough to be open with each other even when it is not pretty. They will appreciate that you are coming to them and not to someone else. It encourages them to trust you.
We all know how it feels to find out that someone we thought was a friend is speaking badly of us to others. Even when it is minor, it causes us to question that friend’s loyalty. Now think about how that feels if the person talking badly about you is supposed to be your biggest supporter and confidant. Trust and mutual respect are necessary for healthy romantic relationships. Telling your partner when you are upset with them instead of telling others promotes those things.
It helps you solve the problem.
In order to solve any problem, you must first acknowledge the problem exists. I know how obvious that seems. However, when you are trying to prevent an argument, you might find it easier to avoid addressing your issue with the person. It is easier to get upset and talk about it with someone else than to have to work through a solution with your partner. Being up front and telling the person they upset you though exhibits maturity and a desire to overcome obstacles together.
Talking to another person keeps you in the same position for the problem to potentially continue to occur. If you want your relationship to make it through the hard times you have to know how to problem solve. You have to be willing to point out what your concerns are. They may not like it at first, but talking trash to your partner will make you both learn to communicate through concerns as they arise.
It promotes a team mentality.
In successful relationships, there comes a time when it is no longer “me” but “we” when making decisions. But in order for this to work, both parties have to share the team mentality. Talking out your issues with your partner to your partner demonstrates that you want to move forward as the best team you can be. That you aren’t going to go off on your own when they do something that upsets you. We don’t seek out resolutions to things with people who do not matter to us.
If you aren’t planning on a long future with them then chances are you wouldn’t take the time to really come to them to try to work through the reasons you are upset with a behavior or statement from them. Teams that plan to keep working together do that though. They focus on coming to the person directly to prevent further upsets in the future. They focus on reaching an agreement all parties can be comfortable with to continue to be successful. Teams know that talking badly about another member behind their back is not going to get them where they want to be.
Honesty is the best policy.
In general, honesty is always the best policy in a relationship. That doesn’t mean offering rude comments about every little thing. It just means that if something is upsetting you enough that you would go to someone else about it, then go to them and be honest about your feelings instead. If what your partner considers a funny, harmless comment you consider insulting, TELL THEM! Do not brush it off because it will continue to happen. That leads to resentment and that causes big road blocks to a successful relationship.
Behave as you would want them to behave.
Would you want to know your partner is going behind your back and saying things about you? Wouldn’t you prefer they come to you and give you a chance to try to work out the frustration? I know I am more willing to compromise and see the other person’s side when they come directly to me. I am not very receptive if I have to hear from someone else that the person has an issue or has just said rude things. If it was my partner talking badly about me I know I would struggle to believe I could trust them. You go from having one issue to having multiple issues.
Just make sure you are open to listening and understanding when they need to trash talk to you too. This is a practice that has to go both ways. Remind yourself that it is not a personal attack but a chance to make your relationship stronger. If you work at it, it will no longer feel like trash talk and instead more like a safe way to express the things that upset you to prevent them from continuing.
So, go on and trash talk to your partner next time you are tempted to call your friend instead! Maybe let them read this post too!