boyfriend yelling criticisms while I’m driving
From rage on the road to other vexing issues of a personal nature, clinical psychologist Jo Lamble answers questions from readers looking for expert advice on social dilemmas and relationship problems.
My boyfriend yells at me all the time when I drive. It’s true that I am not a very good driver, and he obviously does it because he’s concerned I’m going to be in an accident, but yelling at me the way he does makes me even more anxious and will likely cause the accident.
I’ve told him to stop, but nothing has changed. How can I get him to listen?
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Here you are showing your boyfriend empathy for why he’s yelling at you, but what about him having empathy for you? Shouting at you while you are driving (or any time, for that matter) is not OK. As you say, yelling at you could most certainly cause an accident.
In the short term, it sounds like it would be a good idea for him to not be in the car while you’re driving if he can’t control himself. In the longer term, maybe you should consider getting some advanced driving lessons. Having one or two lessons from a calm professional could really boost your confidence, and a confident driver is usually a better driver.
At the same time, you need to have a series of conversations with your boyfriend about how he can express his concern or fear without yelling or making personal attacks. Does he do this at any other times outside the car? Because if there are any other signs of verbal abuse, then that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
If he defends his behaviour by criticising you further, then please get some support and advice. Don’t tolerate abuse of any kind.
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