I checked up the meaning of pet peeve online and the first definition that came up was “A pet peeve is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies more particularly annoying to them; to a greater degree than others may find it”. A peeve is usually a feeling of resentment, or maybe even a grievance. Pet peeves are annoyances that never fail to put you in that mood of resentment. They also tend to be a matter of opinion, and are most times linked to your personality.
Pet peeves can damage friendships and more than that, relationships. How you feel about a pet peeve or irritating behavior in your friendship or relationship can build and balloon. And having pet peeves and not doing anything about them is like water trickling down a stone; a few drips won’t leave a mark, but overtime the water will leave a dent and probably even break that stone.
Pet peeves like I pointed out above are linked to individual personality, some people don’t like it when other sneak up on them, some don’t like it when someone says “whatever” whenever they are having a discussion, some don’t like people talking through a movie, some don’t like when people pick their noses, I don’t like gum smacking, and it is detestable when a man does it, and so many others we can think of. A female friend of mine would be angry if you were eating beside her and your spoon was clanging with your plate. I have heard about a couple that separated because the wife always complain about the husband pressing the toothpaste from the middle instead of pressing it from the bottom to top, the husband didn’t change, the complaints got worse, the husband grew frustrated and wondered why something as unimportant as what point you press a toothpaste be more important to his wife than any other thing, they couldn’t both handle it and they ended up going separate ways.
So, to avoid a bad break-up because of a minor annoyance from pet-peeves, what should you do? You have to understand that no one is perfect, and that beautiful babe or handsome hunk might just have something they do that will piss you off on a regular. Of course your partner will piss you off sometimes; if you are waiting to date someone who will never piss you off in a lifetime, you might just have to wait for Jesus to come. So, how do you deal with pet peeves in your relationship without hurting your partner?
- DON’T RAISE YOUR PET PEEVE IN PUBLIC
Avoid nagging, or correcting your partner’s behavior in public, no one likes to be embarrassed. Instead of embarrassing your partner in the presence of others, talk about things in private.
- COMPLIMENT WHAT YOU DO LIKE
Your partner can’t always be about pet peeves, they can’t always piss you off all the time. If that is happening, something is either wrong with you or your relationship. So, when they do something you like, compliment them, show your appreciation, and they will do it again some other time. Positive reinforcement works much better than just nagging. If they do the dishes; acknowledge it and compliment genuinely, if they hold the door for you; smile and say ‘thank you’. Always remember that if you compliment your partner generously and genuinely, you send a powerful message that has more impact to change their behavior than criticizing.
- CONSIDER SOLUTIONS
One of my pet peeves is a woman I live in the same house with watching some boring station from morning till night. And if I get married and my woman would rather watch Africa magic when premiership matches are going on, I would simply buy a second TV and split the signals. So, if there is any pet peeves that can constantly bring arguments, nagging and resentment, try and brainstorm some solutions around it, you might just find a lasting solution and everyone will leave happily ever-after.
- HAVE A MUTUAL DISCUSSION AT THE RIGHT TIME
If you constantly complain about your partner’s behaviours as if you don’t have any fault of yours, you will frustrate them before you know it. Always make a discussion especially about pet peeves very mutual and find the right time to do it. Make this discussion about the behaviours both of you can change; make it about both of you becoming better persons. You might simply ask him or her if you do something that he /she doesn’t like, and you just pick things up from there.
- CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF
I said before that your peeves are linked to your personality. Acknowledge that sometimes, it is you’re your mood that is magnifying the pet peeve. When you’re stressed, anxious or upset, everything tends to get on your nerves. You might be having a bad day at work, or some issues are just pissing you off or maybe you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed (wondering which side that is) don’t take it out on your partner, find a relaxing activity, or just tell your partner you are having a bad day and maybe you guys can find a way around your mood instead of snapping at him or her.
- WEIGH WHAT’S IMPORTANT
While you might be tempted to complain and correct your partner’s pet peeve; it also helps to have perspective. Ask yourself if your partner were gone tomorrow, would you really care about this pet peeve? Would you miss them more than the pet peeve? Sometimes, when you have a relationship that is worth everything, pet peeve becomes inconsequential.
- IS IT A PET PEEVE OR A DEAL-BREAKER?
The couple that went separate ways because of how to press toothpaste should have reconsidered. Always ask yourself if a pet peeve is a deal-breaker, if it is something you can live with and work around over time, or if it something you should not live with. If your partner’s behaviour constantly brings you emotional pain or physical harm, it’s no longer a pet peeve, and deserves serious consideration and possibly counseling.
Finally, like I always say, relationships are personal ventures and none is exactly like the other. So find what works for you, you might even need to slow down on your pet peeves since they are most times ‘minor’ issues that could be addressed and sometimes overlooked, or you might just have a nice little talk about them so you can enjoy your relationship. Stay Safe.