Why can’t they just place their used clothing in the hamper? Does the TV need to be on 24/7 – and must it always be on a depressing news channel? Why do they leave their face masks lying around everywhere?
Does this inner monologue sound familiar? If you’ve been quarantined at home with your husband or wife for last several months, you’ve probably found yourself weary of your partner’s habits and quirks at some point. You’re definitely not alone in experiencing this.
Because of limited physical space and fewer emotional resources, we tend to become less flexible, more sensitive, and easily triggered by things we once easily tolerated, or even found endearing.
The thing is, these traits have probably been there all along, and most likely, aren’t going away anytime soon. Instead of nitpicking on the way they hang the bath towel after use or bickering about whose turn it is to disinfect the groceries, we can choose to respond with love and kindness.
As Manila has been placed back on Modified Enhanced Quarantine, here are some tips for more harmonious interactions at home.
Before calling your partner out on something that annoyed you, pause for a moment and take a deep breath before you speak out or act. Doing so can prevent you from saying or doing something you might later regret.
2. Schedule regular alone time
You may be under the same roof every day, but that doesn’t mean you both have to be in the same room, interacting all day. Set aside time for yourself in a separate area to read a book, meditate, paint, listen to music, take a nap, etc. This short time apart will help you recharge and center yourself, thereby improving interactions with others in your home.
3. Shift your perspective
We may not be able to control other people’s habits but we do have control over our perspective. How we view things is a choice.
It’s strange but if you look closely, you will find that your partner’s traits that irritate you the most have corresponding positive manifestations that you most likely love and appreciate. Try to reframe the conditions that frustrate you as something positive. For example, when you find yourself feeling irritated that they are mostly glued to the news, take a pause and remember that one of the things you admire about them is their curiosity about the world and love of learning. Or you may dislike how disorganized and messy they are; however, at the same time, this same trait of theirs is what allows you to feel relaxed and easygoing, without any pretense of perfection in their presence.
4. Practice kindness and humility
Finally, it is important to remain humble and keep in mind that we, too, have our own annoying traits that others have to live with. In this light, let’s be slow to criticize and quick to appreciate. Make it a practice to be kind to yourself and others, and to make allowances because we are all coping with this situation in a variety of ways.