They say that one of the red flags in a relationship is snapping. Barking at your partner without warning can hurt like a piercing bite. At the end of the day, when all the snapping had occurred, what is left would be regrets and thoughts of how the situation could have been played out differently. Learn a formula you can apply when you find yourself snapping at your partner. Join us as we dive into the importance of realizing the need to take care of one’s self first and processing one’s emotions before anything else.
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Blocking Snapping: Switching Off The Anger Circuit
I got your phone from the car.
That was an ouch.”
This actually happened and I said, “We’ve got to talk about snapping.” What I did is, “He said ouch. Why did I snap?” I realized I was in the middle of something and I was panicking because all of a sudden I didn’t find my phone. I was looking for my phone to take a picture of something. In my thoughts I am thinking, “Where is my phone?” He said, “Hey, babe.” That was another thing. Then I said, “What?” and he is like, “Ouch, I have your phone. I brought it from the car.” Then I’m like, “Thank you.” We were talking about it and how that could have played out differently. Instead of saying, “Hey, babe or hey, love,” just go and say, “Here’s your phone.” Then I would have been digging through my purse and going, “Where is my phone?” He goes, “Here is your phone.” I will be like, “Awesome.”
Sometimes the extra, “Hey, babe,” like we were in the car with the kids and it could be, “Hey, mom.” You don’t have to say, “Hey, mom.” Just go, “Mom, there’s a dog.” If it’s, “Hey, mom,” you get taken out of your spots. For me to say that, I am asking him to change in order for me to be happy. I don’t want to approach it from that place. For me, I had to look at what was the snapping about. At the moment, I was feeling like, “Where is my phone? Did I leave it in Prescott?” It was that feeling. I was in a disconnected place. I was in fear. I was in frustration. We had also spent a long weekend doing soccer games and stuff. I was tired. I wanted to go home.
We were in a room with the kids and sleep was very short.As we grow older and become more mature and wise, the relationship also grows and evolves. Click To Tweet
Here is the formula if you find yourself snapping at your partner. The first thing you have to ask is, “I snapped at him, what is going on within me?” That is the first question. Slowing down enough to go “What is happening within me?” “I snapped at him, am I angry with him?” I checked in with myself and I’m like, “No, I have no anger. There is nothing unresolved with him right now.” That is the second question. “What am I feeling towards him? Am I angry, frustrated? Did he do something? Am I interpreting that he did something? Is it about him?” Then when you realize that it is not and it could be. I am going to take you down both places. If it is a no, then what else is it? I’m like, “Why did I snap? What is going on?” I was in a little bit of a panic moment but I am also tired and it is time for some self-care. It is time for some downtime. I have been up to going with the kids all weekend with soccer games and this whole thing. I need Christy time. I need to relax. Realizing and asking yourself, that’s the fourth thing, “What do I need? What is going on within me that I need something?”
This is part of the couple work that we do is knowing how to realize that you need to take care of yourself. That is the awareness that we need to bring into the lives of other couples is that before we get to this frustration point where we explode, it is okay to look inside, “What is going on?” and be able to say, “I am a little bit stressed. I had a rough two-days, a rough weekend.” Talk to your partner and say, “Can I have your support because right now I am not going to be good with the words that I choose or not skillful? I think I need a little bit of a moment to myself so that I can recharge the battery and come back to more of a joyful person.” It is okay to say that. Often it is realizing that and what is the work that is involved in realizing and knowing that that conversation needs to happen with your partner before there is frustration that comes out. That is the one that we do with couples.
To wrap it up, if you are not angry with your partner and you find yourself doing something and you snapped, it could go both ways. It is not a woman thing. The man can snap at the woman too. Whatever is happening or the reaction or what you are giving back as a response is biting, that kind of snapping, then go within yourself and say, “Why am I snapping? What is going on within me? Am I angry with this person?” If it is a no, “What is going on within me?” If it is yes, “I am angry at him.” “What are you angry at him about?” Go into your emotions.
We are going to do a future episode where we are going to help you process your emotions. It is being clear that, “I am feeling frustrated right now. He said something to me that hurt me or his timing was off in mentioning something to me. I said something to him and he did not acknowledge me for it.” Whatever is happening, whatever you’re perceiving or something bad happened or you’re upset in whatever way, it doesn’t matter what it is. There are emotions there and you have to process your emotions first before you communicate it to him or what is going to come out is the snap that you did is going to come out as a roar.
Then it is going to be like attacking. It is going to be a you message, “You did this to me because now I feel like I’m the one that’s responsible for doing everything or whatever.” We want to make sure that you take care of yourself first and then you can have that conversation. That’s what we often do, is that one of us will come to the other and say, “I need to talk to you about what happened. Can we spend five minutes and talk about what had happened with that situation?” We talked about it, that snappy situation with the cell phone. We came to an agreement, “How could it have been a little better?” There was also an apology. I heard her, she heard me. I felt I was heard in my ouch and she felt that she was also heard and the fact that she had a lot going on in her head
I was feeling tired and all that. The point is that simple thing, that snapping could create a big argument if that awareness isn’t there. It can become a conflict and become a thing. What he did when he is like, “Ouch. Babe, I have your phone.” I said, “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I apologize.” It was good after the fact, now that I got to rest. I’ve taken care of myself. There was that moment of snapping. Is it a big deal? What was that all about? If I could have it in my perfect way, if in my ideal world, if I’m digging through something, if you see on preoccupied, instead of going, “Hey, babe,” which is one more thing that now I’ve got to pay attention to or put my attention on, just go, “Here’s your phone.” Then that way it’s like, “Thank you so much.”
That was our fixed for in the future conversation. It’s a future-forward conversation of, “This happened. It didn’t feel good to either one of us. I’ll work on my part of it.” He was brilliant in what he did because he didn’t take it personally. He didn’t get defensive. He didn’t get mad at me. It was just an “Ouch, I’m bringing in your phone.” I was like, “Sorry.” He didn’t take it personally. He didn’t take it on. Had he, because he hadn’t done his own inner work, it could have elevated. Then because we are conscious in our coupling and we want to stay connected and we want to stay loving with each other, it’s like, “In the future, for that future thing to happen.” There was no argument about what happened. Nobody was making the other person wrong for what happened. He didn’t try to berate me because I snapped at him.
It was like, “In the future, what could I have done differently?” I said, “It would probably have been a different reaction if you see me rooting around on something. You see that I’m involved in something. Instead of the words, ‘Hey, babe or hey, love or mom,’ or any of that stuff, just say to me what you need to say that will help me at that moment, if that’s what you’re trying to do. It’s good to have those discussions, “Moving forward, I would prefer you to say this to me. Next time do this or could you try this next time,” so your relationship is improving because every incident that you have or every interaction that you have, it’s like, “That felt good or it didn’t feel good,” and it’s an opportunity.Everybody needs a break just for themselves every once in a while. Click To Tweet
This relationship is an opportunity to look at what’s the contrast, what are the things I don’t like or don’t prefer and what would I prefer instead? That’s what we talk about during individual work in our couples’ retreats and online workshops is that I get to be Christy and I get to say, “That doesn’t feel good to me, but this would.” He gets to say, “That doesn’t feel good to me, but this would.” “As a couple, we don’t like to feel this way or we like to be in this situation. This feels better.” We’re always molding the clay. We’re always creating our relationship, which is a third entity. There’s Christy, Frederic and then there’s this third entity called a relationship. We’re able to move it and direct it in the way that we want it to go and the energy that we want it to flow in.
It’s evolving like us. We are evolving as we grow older, more mature and wiser. The relationship also is growing and evolving like us. There are some interests. There are some things that we like, there are some things that we don’t like anymore. That has to come out as well. I had a saying that I learned with Karen, make sure that what you talk about comes out as your true feelings. Be true to what you say. Be true to yourself. That is another situation where you look within and you talk about, “This is what I like now.” Maybe it was perfect before the way you were at five years, ten years ago but it has changed. Mention it to your partner. Your partner cannot guess what’s going on with you. That’s why we need to be true with our feelings, with our emotions, with the things that we say and we communicate with each other.
The steps for this episode are, if you have some reactive snapping experience in your relationships either way or both ways, each one of you has to come within yourself and figure out what is going on within you and not be willing to continue that behavior because it will deteriorate the relationship. It won’t help you stay connected. It won’t help you stay in a loving space. Be willing to look within. Take time for yourself, even just for a moment and ask yourself, “What’s going on within me? What am I needing that I’m not getting? Maybe I’m tired and I need to take a nap. Maybe I need to take a day off and go do a spa day. Maybe I need time by myself or with my buddies or go golfing.” What do I need in life? Everybody’s got busy lives. If you are parents and you’ve got animals and all this stuff, everybody needs a break just for themselves every once in a while and be willing to give that to yourself. Then communicate what your needs are from the I. “I prefer this. I would appreciate this,” and not to ask permission. That’s going to be our next episode. You don’t have to ask her permission, but be able to communicate in a way that you’re really sharing what you prefer and need.
What do you want? “I want this, therefore I’m going to take care of myself for this amount of time, for this day and this time. Does that work with your schedule?” “Let’s do it.”
For this episode, watch your own reactions and if you’re having reactions, remember they’re your reactions and the only one that can change your reactions are you. Let those reactions inform you about what’s going on inside of you. Have an amazing week and enjoy your couples.