in a healthy, close relationship of any kind, when something upsets you, you need to bring it up. as soon as possible, even. cultivate an environment in which you both can talk about things that upset you, with the utmost attention to everyone’s feelings. it’s a really simple thing to do but it’s a thing i’ve been working on for a while and i’m getting actual nice things happening as a result
This is so important. If someone does something that upsets you, the sooner it’s brought up, the easier and quicker a resolution is. Imagine the difference if you are in a relationship and your loved one says to you “Hey, that thing you said just now really hurt my feelings” as opposed to “Hey, that thing you said three weeks ago really hurt my feelings.” In the second situation you’d wonder “Why didn’t you bring it up then?” or potentially not even remember the incident being brought up. Using “I” statements and naming real feelings is also important, for example, phrasing these incidences in the format: “When you did/said [thing], I felt [emotion]. That way the emotion is tied to the action in a way that is indisputable and puts importance on how you felt rather than what the other person’s intention was.
A big part of emotional literacy is being able to name thoughts and feelings in the moment and confront the source of your discomfort or emotions right away, which lowers the potential for resentment, residual anger, and lasting harm that degrades any relationship. It also encourages more positive feedback, such as naming to your partner when you feel appreciated, loved, close, and protected.