There are certain things that make my partner cranky, for example:
- When our housemate’s puppy pees on our bed
- When he’s stuck in the slowest lane in peak hour traffic, then changes lanes, only for that lane to become the slower one
- When he gets a bad night’s rest because I’ve accidentally been kicking him in my sleep
- Any time he is hungry
Another well documented frustration-inducing event is when he suffers a consecutive string of losses in his games.
It’s often easy for me to tell when this happens as he’s very visibly disheartened. Often a slither off a rage quit, he lets out noises similar to that if I were to repeatedly run over his toe with his computer chair. When he’s like this, it’s clear that I should give him his space and perhaps not ask him how his game went.
At other times, however, it’s a little trickier to tell. While he may be growing increasingly frustrated on the inside, he remains composed on the outside. I’m completely oblivious to the raging between his teammates coming from his headset, let alone the personal deconstruction of the losses happening in his own head.
Now gamers, if you have just come off a few bad losses, that’s okay. If the other team was just way better, if your teammates were feeding, if you hit the wrong button at the wrong time, that’s fine – take a moment to be frustrated. If you need some time to get back into your happy place, that’s completely understandable. Just please let your partner know.
If you give your partner a heads up, then they can cut you a little slack if you’re not your usual self, even if it’s just momentarily while the pain of the loss fades. When I know my partner has had a few unlucky games, I might give him a few minutes to himself so he can cheer up with cat videos. Just as I try to flag the days where I’m feeling particularly “emotional” (i.e. days where I want to be curled up in bed crying, eating chocolate and watching Ryan Gosling movies), a quick “Hey sweety, just so you know, I’ve had a pretty frustrating run with games” from my partner can go a long way.
Most importantly, if you don’t warn us, if any of that frustration carries over to your interactions with us, we may come to the conclusion that we have done something to influence your bad mood. And that’s when it gets personal and unpleasant for all parties involved. When that happens, I am only willing to accept responsibility for a small portion of my resultant grumpiness.
I admit there have been a few times in the past where I have been a caught off guard by my partner’s sudden change in demeanour (I guess you could say I saw de-meaner side of him #seewhatididthere), which I later found out was a result of a few League of Legends losses directly beforehand. I’m slowly training him to give me the heads up whenever this happens, so I won’t have to bring my cranky pants out to play. So please, let your partner know – they will appreciate it. Communication is the key.
Oh, just a final note. A string of losses is not an adequate justification to play another game just “so you can end on a win”. I’m not stupid. I know that there’s an equally likely chance that you’ll also lose the next one too, and the next one after that, and end up even crankier before. We’re not going to continue this silly cycle all night. Go to sleep.