"I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me," playwright and author Noel Coward once said. If you suspect that your boyfriend might be happy if you took a lengthy stroll, you'll want to pinpoint the behavior that might be bothering him. One way to do so is to pay attention to the subtle signs that he gives you in the course of a conversation.
People primarily communicate in nonverbal ways, notes former FBI counterintelligence agent Joe Navarro. If your boyfriend is trying to be polite and not mention that your incessant speculating about your best friend's new boyfriend is getting on his nerves, you may have to rely on his body language to figure out whether or not he's annoyed. Watch for eye rolling, sighing and foot tapping to figure out if it's time to put the kabash on your current conversation and switch to another topic.
When you begin to wonder if you're bugging your boyfriend, mentally check the flow of the conversation. If he hasn't said anything besides, "yep" and "oh" for the past several minutes, it's a fair assumption that you are getting close to getting on his nerves. Either that, or he simply isn't much of a conversationalist. When the conversation gets too one-sided, ask him an open-ended question about himself, such as, "What did your landlord say about changing his pet policy? Will you be able to keep that cute beagle you found?"
If you and your boyfriend have been hanging out and you find that he is beginning to put physical distance between the two of you, that's a good sign that he may be getting annoyed. This is particularly true if he begins making excuses to leave. If you pick up on this type of withdrawal, ask yourself if something about your words or behavior could be inspiring him to stop holding your hand and begin making a move for his car keys.
Learn His Pet Peeves
Defining annoyance is difficult, as people don't necessarily find the same things irritating. The high-pitched laugh that your ex-boyfriend found cute and endearing could be like nails on a chalkboard to your current man. One way to cue into whether or not your behavior is bugging him is to cue into what annoys him about others. If he complains that his best friend sounds like an idiot when he's drunk, perhaps it's best if you resist drunk-dialing him, for example.
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