They may even find them funny. But again, over time, those sort-of-okay reactions can turn more negative if the behaviors continue. Identifying them when they are easier to let go of can avoid more damaging results in the future.
Typical examples of annoying behaviors:
- Not replacing the toilet paper
- Using your toothbrush without consent
- Not remembering to inform you of non-critical messages
- Leaving stuff around
- Nodding off watching TV
- Forgetting to turn off the lights
2. Behaviors That Begin to Feel More Aggravating
The following sample behaviors are more upsetting and may take longer for your reactions to them to subside. They may often be irritating you sooner than they used to, and the effects are definitely harder to shake.
If you or your partner are behaving in aggravating ways, you will find yourselves more reactive to those actions when they happen, and your negative responses will be both stronger and last longer.
Typical examples of aggravating behaviors:
- Leaving clothes on the floor
- Continuously interrupting
- Forgetting something important
- Not being available when asked or needed
3. Behaviors That Are Beginning to Offend
Your partner’s expressions and actions are now really getting to you. You’re finding yourself anticipating them and getting worked up at the first sign that they may be about to happen.
Your reactions are immediate, your responses a little terse, and the effects of those behaviors don’t easily go away. You feel an accumulation of distress and an aversion to being around your partner when they behave in these ways.
Typical examples of offensive behaviors:
- Continuous nagging
- Focusing on your mistakes
- Constant negativity
- Breaking promises
- Doing things behind your back
- Being chronically late
4. Behaviors That Can Be Exasperating
These behaviors now “drive you crazy.” You’re beginning to feel allergic to them, even slightly nauseated when they occur. At the first moment you feel they are about to happen, you are instantly irritated and combat-ready.
You’ve probably told your partner many times that his or her ways of being are significantly upsetting you, but the noxious behaviors have not diminished and leave you frustrated, reactive, and disgusted.
If you or your partner get to this level of dislike, your positive feelings for each other will rapidly diminish, and your love for each other will eventually be unable to compensate.
You’ll know you are close when it is getting harder and harder to let go of your distressed state or move beyond what you are feeling. You know that your resilience is waning, and that you feel more consistently upset.
Typical examples of exasperating behaviors:
- Picking fights with you or others you care about
- Consistent undermining
- Doing the opposite of what you asked for
- Invalidating your thoughts or feelings
- Ignoring you
- Unilaterally breaking agreements
- Using mutual resources without your agreement
Remember to add or replace these examples as they apply to your own relationship.
If you do need to relabel, please make certain that the initial categories begin with those that are minor and move up the scale to those that could be more cumulatively damaging.
It’s also important to realize that what seems a dislike to you may not be to your partner, or vice versa. It doesn’t matter if the partner who is behaving in a harmful way doesn’t mean to cause distress.