Whether she’s dealing with a crisis or celebrating her birthday, it seems that your girlfriend always has a reason to be a grump. As her boyfriend, you’re getting weary of engaging in numerous petty arguments and always be greeting with, “Well, it’s about time you got here.” While there’s very little you can do to stop your girlfriend from being cranky, you can keep yourself from being sucked down into her well of misery by intentionally changing your interactions with her.
If you deny fire oxygen, it won’t burn, says therapist Mark Tyrell on his website Uncommon Help. Don’t waste your time trying to convince your girlfriend that things aren’t so bad, and take a few moments to yourself if you find yourself being drawn into any arguments she initiates. If your grouchy girlfriend lets you know that she thinks it’s ridiculous that you spend an hour every night playing your favorite video game, simply say, “I’m sorry you feel that way” and carry on. There’s no need to become defensive, offended or accept any other negative emotion arising from the encounter. For your own peace of mind, maintain your equilibrium.
Raise the Vibe
Moods can be contagious. The key to not allowing your girlfriend’s crankiness to affect your attitude is for you to be the person with the contagious mood. If you drop by and your girlfriend is giving Grumpy the dwarf a run for his money, deliberately adopt an upbeat attitude that can’t be shaken. Play some fun music and insist that she dance. Insist that the two of you watch some comedy. Draw her attention to the amazing food the two of you are eating or the lovely sunset. Refuse to commiserate with her about how dreary life can be.
Validate Her Feelings
While you don’t want to adopt her morose, cranky mood, you can always ask her what is bothering her. If she says, “Everyone around me is acting like an idiot today. No one can get even the smallest thing right,” you might say, “It sounds like you’re pretty upset that your roommate ruined the wash. Is there anything else that’s bothering you?” Simply being unwilling to understand her point of view without defensiveness can help ease the situation, according to psychologist Nando Pelusi, Ph.D. in “Psychology Today.”
While it’s not a good idea to avoid responsibility in most areas of life, accepting responsibility for another person’s feelings is definitely a burden you don’t want. Believing that you cause another person’s feelings is a false belief, says psychologist Margaret Paul on the relationship website YourTango.com. If your girlfriend says, “I’m so bored. You never think of anything fun to do,” realize that she alone is responsible for her feelings. Attempting to change your personality or habits in an attempt to pacify a cranky person is almost always futile. The result is that both of you will be unhappy.
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Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.
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