Open and honest communication is essential in relationships because it ensures that you're both on the same page. Since neither of you can know what the other is thinking or intending if they don't make it clear, signals can easily get crossed and you can misinterpret things that they do or say, which can land the two of you in an argument before you even realize exactly what's going on. Knowing about some of the innocent behaviors your partner is doing that you're misinterpreting as hurtful can help because you might think twice before jumping to conclusions about what your partner meant by something and getting unnecessarily upset about it. Though you're certainly entitled to feel hurt and express that to you partner when necessary, having an idea of what sorts of things are commonly misinterpreted can save you the hurt and heartache, as well as saving you a potentially difficult conversation.
"As an anger management specialist, I spend a lot of time talking with my clients about their misinterpretation of others’ behaviors which often lead to feeling of hurt and then anger reactions," Alisa Kamis-Brinda, LCSW, LCADC, a licensed clinical social worker and owner of Serenity Solutions, tells Romper by email. "Oftentimes, when we feel hurt by others’ words or actions, it is because we are taking their actions personally. However, in many situations, another person’s behaviors are not meant to intentionally hurt us. In many cases, the person’s behavior is a result of how they are feeling and their behavior is how they are trying to cope with it. Learning how to use empathy can help when we feel hurt by other’s behaviors."
Thinking about why your partner might have said something can sometimes help you from misinterpreting or having your feelings hurt unintentionally when these kinds of behaviors come up in your own relationship.