Uncovered… Annoying habits

If you’re anything like usour partner’s annoying habits have started to grate after a year at home in each other’s space!  From coffee cups left lying around and talking too loudly on the phone, to ‘attacking’ keyboards and hogging the remote, wfind ourselves ‘zeroing in’ on our other half’s annoying habits and running out of patience.  

By default, we assume our annoying habits are never as bad as theirs – and can always be justified by the circumstances.  So, when I leave a cupboard door open its because I was rushing around with so much to do that I forgot.  But when Jon leaves the clean pots on top of the kitchen counter rather than in the cupboard (right underneath!!)he clearly needs to learn to just finish the job!  Psychologists have a term for this – fundamental attribution error.  We all have the tendency to assassinate other people’s character! 

Here are five tips for becoming more CHILLed in your response : 

Cut the Criticism 

Most times annoying habits are done without thought – and without ill-intent.  Instead of constantly criticising, choose to respond with more patience and grace.    Remember you have annoying habits too. 

Have honest conversations  

Talk about the things you find irritating and then leave them to change what they can Everybody’s stress levels have been heightened, so it might not take much to tip some of us over the edge of frustration into conflict.   If we are honest, sometimes itmore about our own stress levels and impatience than it is about their innocent habit.   

Ignore the squeaky wheel 

Once you have had the conversation, choose to focus on the good.  It’s so easy to forget all the reasons we love our partner and get distracted by the ‘squeaky wheel’ – the one thing they do that annoys amidst all the many amazing things about them.   

Live and let live 

There’s a lesson we can all learn from this brilliant story of an old woman who was happily married for over six decades.  She explained that when they first got married, she decided to write a list of her husband’s ten faults – faults that she would always overlook.  She never got around to writing the list, but every time he messed up, she would say to herself ‘lucky for him that’s one of the ten’!  Being close enough to someone to see all their flaws is a position of privilege.  Cover for them.  Choose to have each other’s back – rather than be on each other’s back. 

Laugh more and Invest time in the relationship  

Investing time together to have a laugh and create memories will help you keep perspective and stay emotionally connected through tense times.  Also, keep a gratitude journal to record the things you notice and really appreciate about your partner.  Then, whenever you find yourself getting irritated, check the list before you respond. 

These five tips are practical suggestions for implementing The 4 Habits of ALL Successful Relationships which will help you thrive in your relationship long after the pandemic is over.   

This content is supplied by

The 4 Habits

Through a series of live workshops and online webinars / courses, we help couples, individuals and teams develop the 4 habits of all successful relationships, so they “turn up” to relationships better, have better conversations and achieve better outcomes.

All relationships face a common set of hurdles.  Success comes from being equipped to overcome these hurdles before they become challenges.  Based on over 25yrs of working with relationships, these 4 habits have proven to be the difference between successful and unsuccessful relationships.  Our mission is to help create healthier people, families and societies, and reduce the rate of family breakdown, by proactively educating them to do relationships well.

This Uncovered by

Dr. Andrea & Jon Taylor-Cummings, Founders of The 4 Habits

Short tips

  1. Cut the criticism
  2. Have honest conversations
  3. Ignore the ‘squeaky wheel’
  4. Live and let live
  5. Laugh more and invest time in the relationship


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