How To Respond Productively To Your Partner’s Temper

posted by Chris Valentine

If your partner has a temper, it can be a major struggle in your relationship. Their short fuse makes resolutions impossible, arguments explosive, and you may find yourself feeling like you’re walking on eggshells.

Instead, understanding the key responses to their temper will help you prepare better for future conflict and defuse arguments quicker.

Compassion: Often, anger is used as a veil to hide feelings of insecurity. Compassion lifts the veil.

Step 1. Pause, which disrupts the momentum & escalation of the argument

Step 2. Show support by reaching out to physically touch your partner

Step 3. Put your compassion into words (‘I know how difficult this is for you…’)

Assertion: When compassion fails, assertion is the way to draw boundaries, express yourself, and help your partner be objective.

Step 1. Pause, which takes back the control of the conversation

Step 2. Demonstrate boundaries by saying ‘Hold on a second’ or ‘Let’s slow down’

Step 3. Put your assertiveness into words (‘I know this is difficult for you, but it’s not fair for you to blame me…’)

The best responses are a blend of assertiveness and compassion. The ratio is up to you, you know your relationship best. Remember that even though your partner may demonstrate verbal aggression, this doesn’t make them an aggressive person, and together you can learn the skills for resolving conflict in a healthy way in the future.


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