Don’t take it personally and do not allow yourself to become miserable! Speak up right away when someone is short with you. Don’t assume others can read your mind, and don’t assume that they are even aware of their own behavior.
If you don’t say anything, the other person may never know that his or her actions and behavior have hurt you. He or she may have been busy, unaware, or distracted. If you don’t speak up, this hurtful behavior is bound to continue, and your disappointment will grow into misery and resentment.
Having a relationship is like skiing a slalom course. You have to stay on your edges instead of being caught flat-footed, adjust your balance, and keep moving forward.
Perhaps you don’t want to complain or be demanding, which is laudable. However, you can express your desires and needs in a rational and friendly way, without being demanding, controlling or critical.
When communicating with someone who is rude or short with you, focus on your attitude and tone of voice to convey a sense of self-respect. If possible have compassion for the other person as well.
You could say for instance, “You may not be aware of this but when I talk to you, you usually sound busy and are short with me. It’s affecting the way I feel about you. I’d like us to take the time to treat each other well and with respect.”
If, after repeated discussions about the issue, the person continues to be short and rude without apologizing, it may be time to get counseling or to limit the scope of the relationship.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD