In response to my recent "Love Minus Regrets" blog article, I was asked by a writer for Match.com's Happen Magazine to answer a series of questions about the behaviors that men and women find annoying about each other in relationships and what they can do about them. Here are my responses:
1. In your experience, what are the biggest behaviors that drive women crazy about men, particularly in newer relationships?
• Not paying attention to their feelings.
• Taking them for granted.
• Jumping to solutions (trying to "fix" it) as opposed to really listening.
2. And then, of course: what are the behaviors that drive men crazy about women?
• Too much drama.
• Not giving them enough "guy time."
3. Do you think it's possible to have a happy relationship with someone who "drives you nuts"?
Absolutely - just ask my wife :)
4. How can people get over their annoyances with the opposite sex?
The key is to focus on what you like about the person, not what you don't like. What about this person makes your heart skip a beat? What are this person's amazing qualities? What about this person is unique and special? The answers to these questions should help minimize the annoying behaviors. If not, this probably isn't the right person for you.
5. Do we all have to just accept being annoyed, or are there effective communication strategies people can use to change annoying behavior?
If you want to put a stop to people's annoying behavior, you first have to make them aware of it. Often people don't realize that what they are doing is bugging you, so when you tell them it may come as a surprise. Also keep in mind that people react differently when confronted about their behaviors - reactions may include feeling hurt, embarrassed, defensive, or angry. That's why it is important to let them know how much you appreciate them hearing you out and that you realize it may not be easy to have this discussion.
Now it's your turn...
• What relationship behaviors do you find annoying?
• How do you put a stop to them?
Marc Muchnick, Ph.D. is the author of No More Regrets! 30 Ways to Greater Happiness and Meaning in Your Life. For more information, go to http://no-more-regrets.com or http://amazon.com.