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How to Bring Up Something That Is Bothering You & Stop Worrying

Stop festering in worry! You can learn how to bring up something that is bothering you and finally get it out in the open.

How to Bring Up Something That Is Bothering You

Whenever I read a women’s magazine or any dating advice, I almost always see a question asking how to bring up something that is bothering you. It may be about how to bring up something they want in the bedroom. Or it could be about their future or their past.

People really struggle to bring up difficult topics. And I get it. No matter how well you know your partner, you never know how they’ll react to something.

Will they get defensive or be offended? Will they get mad or be hurt?

Well, unless you’re a psychic there is no way to know for sure how your partner will react. But it doesn’t mean you should just hold it in forever.

[Read: How to fix a lack of communication in relationships]

Why you should bring up things that bother you

When something is bothering you in a relationship, whether big or small, it is so important not to overlook it. Sure, you don’t want to dwell on things that aren’t a big deal, but avoiding things because they might be hard is not healthy or beneficial.

When you hold your tongue on something you’ve been worrying about, it creates an unspoken distance between you and your partner. The weight gets heavier every time you hold back.

Eventually, that weight becomes so heavy you can’t hold it anymore, and you’ve built up so much resentment you end up lashing out. A small problem that was bothering you could have been sorted out in one conversation, but when you avoid it, it becomes bigger, messier, and worse. [Read: How to spot the starting signs of resentment in a relationship]

And the longer you go without bringing something up, the harder it gets. Say your partner forgot your anniversary, but you didn’t say anything because you didn’t want them to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Maybe you knew they were overwhelmed with work and wanted to let it go.

But, the more you think about it, the more upset you get. A week later it is really bothering you, but you don’t know how to bring it up now without explaining why you didn’t say something sooner.

Well, that feeling isn’t going to go away. It will only fester and worsen until you can’t hold it in. What could have been a quick and maybe even funny conversation has now been built up so much. You might lash out at your partner over something small like not getting gas or not cleaning the dishes when you are really upset about your anniversary, but your partner has no clue.

Avoiding something uncomfortable at first turns into long-term resentment, angry fights, and even breakups if you’re not careful.

I know it is awkward and can create a less-than-cozy conversation, but bringing up something that is bothering you sooner rather than later is always the best option.

[Read: 12 signs of indifference in a relationship that predicts a drift very soon]

How to bring up something that is bothering you

When you are considering how to bring up something that is bothering you, there are some things you should think about.

You may not want to bring it up immediately in the heat of the moment. You don’t want to be angry and say something you’ll regret. But, don’t take too much time, just enough for you to cool off and get your thoughts and feelings in order.

You will also want to think about your partner. Are they sensitive? Is there a way you can word what you need to say, so they know it is about how you feel and not you attacking or criticizing them? [Read: 23 dos and don’ts you MUST remember about relationship arguments]

These tips will help you express how you’re feeling without being misunderstood. I can’t promise this conversation will be easy or enjoyable, but what’s most important is that you get your point across clearly and work through whatever the situation is.

#1 Think about the facts. Make sure you focus on the facts of what is bothering you. Don’t place blame or accuse. When you go into a scary conversation in attack mode, it will only make things worse. I know you’re upset, but think about this in the most practical way. What you want is a solution, not a longer argument.

#2 Use “I” messages. Turns out your middle school guidance counselor actually knew what she was talking about after all. Instead of saying you made me upset or you used me, share your feelings. Say “I felt hurt when you ditched our plans without consulting me.”

This lets you get your feelings out without accusing them. They may not have known you would be upset and although their actions led to your feeling this way, the wording of it can make the conversation go a lot smoother. [Read: A guide for effective communication in a relationship]

#3 Let them respond and ask questions. Get out what you must and then let them respond. They may need more clarification. They may have questions. Remain calm. You can’t plan how the conversation will go or how they will react.

You can’t have expectations that they will just apologize and you will move forward. Give them the same courtesy of listening that they are giving to you. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]

#4 Explain what you need. Is it space or time? Is it an apology? Maybe a change in future behavior? Let them know how they can help make this better. They can’t just cheer you up without knowing what you need. Even if you think they should know you well enough, people aren’t mind readers.

Let them know if you need some space to cool off. Let them know if you need them to simply understand where you’re coming from so that this doesn’t happen again.

#5 Remember conflict is natural. Fighting, arguments, and awkwardness are all totally normal parts of any healthy relationship. You cannot get along and have things go smoothly 100% of the time.

You will be bothered by things your partner does and they you. That is just the way it works. Remember there is nothing wrong with you for being upset. Just because you are sharing a hard conversation doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed, quite the opposite actually. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for happy love]

#6 Ask them if anything is bothering them. Remind them that you want them to open up the same way. Let them know you are always here to listen to their concerns too. Ask them if they have been holding anything back.

Also, remember that this is a two-way relationship. You both must communicate, listen, and comprehend what the other one is saying to get through things. Without that, the relationship is unbalanced, and one person will feel less secure than the other.

[Read: Communication techniques to get someone to open up to you]

I understand the concern you have about how to bring up something that is bothering you. It is a natural fear, but break down that barrier and share your feelings. It will help more than holding back.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...