Help! Telltale Har: I Can't Stop Provoking My Girlfriend

by Harley Super 11 months ago in advice

She refuses to freak out.

Help! Telltale Har: I Can't Stop Provoking My Girlfriend

Today I address an email from a woman who wishes her girlfriend of four years would “flip her lid” once in a while, and goes as far as to purposefully do things she hopes will make her girlfriend mad just so she’ll freak out.


Help! Telltale Har,

I'm having an issue with my girlfriend. Well, I guess you could say I'm the issue. Here we go—I've been with my girlfriend for four years (we're both white cis lesbians if that matters). During this time she's never gotten mad. She never raises her voice, she never calls me names, and she won’t even slam a door. At first I thought she would eventually explode one day or maybe she takes it her frustrations out at work or something? I really don’t know. After four years of nothing but an aggravated sigh once in a while, I find myself acting like a sugared-up Chihuahua bouncing around the house trying to aggravate her. I've done everything to try to get a reaction, but nothing seems to work. I’ve spent time picking on things about her. I’ve purposefully left messes in the kitchen, bathroom, etc, and I once pretended that I let her cat out as a prank—she didn’t even freak out. Her idea of mad is just, a quieter version of her, and it drives me nuts. I realize this may sound crazy but what can I do to finally get her to flip her lid and fight with me?


Missing Angry Debates

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash


Hey MAD,

I'm nearly expecting a letter from your girlfriend to come in soon that tells me about the issue she's having with you. You are absolutely the problem here. I imagine you throwing tantrums the way children do in grocery stores when they’re not getting the kind of cereal they asked for. Four years with someone is a decent chunk of time, and if after all this time you're unable to accept the way she handles her emotions—angry or otherwise—then I can't imagine what other emotional neglect you're engaging in. I imagine she is simply not the kind of person who shoots steam out of their ears when they're upset, and for that, you should be truly grateful. How she manages to put up with your "sugared-up Chihuahua" act is beyond me, and while shocking, it should make you feel lucky to have someone who embodies so much patience.

The longer you continue this behavior, the closer you get to being downright abusive. “Picking on things about her” I imagine, means you’re sort of picking on her—whether you’re saying you make fun of her clothes, her habits, or her appearance—you’re only going to damage her self-esteem and cause her to resent you. Being messy is just rude, no matter who you’re sharing a house with, and you’re probably going to end up annoying yourself by leaving messes all over—unless she cleans up after you? Now, pretending to lose her cat—that’s a really sick prank and I hope you don’t ever actually lose the cat, or have some sort of other emergency, because then you’ll look like you’re just crying wolf. You’re also putting her at risk of simply not trusting you anymore. MAD, if you're wishing for a knock down/drag out war, I'd suggest you find someone who will give that to you, though I have a feeling you will miss your girlfriend's serenity. Try to release your pent up energy elsewhere (kickboxing?) before you turn her into your emotional punching bag.

Until next time,

Telltale Har

P.S. Don't discount the benefit that therapy can have in your life, maybe it will help you with identifying why you have to provoke your girlfriend to illicit and angry response.

Harley Super
Harley Super
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Harley Super

25 y/o woman. Freelance writer. Coffee worshipper. Advice Columnist. Cat mom. Spoonie.

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