Last night’s Love Island made for some uncomfortable viewing.
We watched as Faye Winter laid into Teddy Soares for not disclosing his Casa Amor behaviour to her, as the villa residents stood on in shock at the explosive argument.
The islanders had been played footage of the second villa, with videos showing Teddy saying he was ‘sexually attracted’ to newbie Clarisse and telling her he was ‘technically single’, something Faye was not privy to.
The situation that followed has left many viewers conflicted, as Faye began to show confrontational behaviour, raising her voice and shouting at Teddy to get her point across.
At one point, the reality TV star said, after giving Teddy the middle finger: ‘I’ve got a problem with you! I don’t want to speak to you right now, because I don’t want to scream. You look like a two-faced p***k!’
It was clear that her anger was bubbling over, and although she tried to extricate herself initially, it did then become a fairly one-sided shouting match.
But is it ever okay to act angrily and shout at your partner in an argument?
The answer is complicated. No, it’s never a good idea to shout at anyone, but it’s also not necessarily a bright red flag (if the shouter is willing to address it and it’s not a regular occurrence).
According to Senior Therapist Sally Baker, it’s a natural trauma response, and needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. She also says that there may be gender issues at play in the backlash to Faye’s outburst.
She Metro.co.uk: ‘Teddy kept telling her that she was screaming when she was actually shouting. And I think it’s okay – for women especially – to be angry.
‘We’ve been denied the option of being angry for a long time. We’re supposed to be sweetness and light.
‘Women are allowed to be angry, just like men are allowed to be angry.
‘It’s ugly it’s uncomfortable, it was probably unfair, but she was clearly distressed. I don’t know how else someone is supposed to manifest distress.’
Love Island contestants are in the unique – and unfortunate – situation of being effectively stuck in their social bubble, with an audience (and a production team) watching their every move.
But, while we may argue that the confrontation should have sparked Faye being removed (even briefly) from the villa to cool down, her and Teddy’s argument can teach us about our own anger issues and what we can do when we can’t escape distressing situations.
‘Faye has often talked about how she’s been derided and let down and betrayed in the past,’ says Sally.
‘So everything that happened last night was a trauma response, and it was not commensurate. It wasn’t measured to what’s happened – it’s much bigger.’
Sally says that people prone to anger issues and outbursts should seek therapy to work out the underlying issues causing them to lash out when things aren’t as expected. Help is the first step to healthier relationships.
She adds that when she works with patients for anger problems she starts by reminding them that it starts with ‘a’ because it’s the very first emotion, used to cover yourself and guard from showing any residual pain and fear.
‘Like anything that shows up in your life,’ says Sally. ‘It’s a gift.’
‘It might feel like s***, but it’s a gift because it shows that there’s unresolved work to be done. And you should clear it, especially if you’re running patterns on relationships.
‘You are running an old script, and you need to go back to the source or earlier sources of that pain.’
For those who’ve borne the brunt of a fit of anger in a relationship, firstly assess whether it’s a regular thing or a one-off response. Either of these needs to be dealt with, but they should be dealt with differently.
Is this a pattern, where shouting and yelling is used in place of regular discussion? Is it a default for your partner when they’re unhappy? Do you bear the brunt of their anger, regardless of the cause of it? Does shouting come alongside other abusive or aggressive behaviour?
If that’s the case for you, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing abuse of some kind. Speak to Refuge or the Men’s Advice Line, who can help you to recognise abuse and offer you support going forward.
If what your partner exhibits is a raised voice without threats or violence – and when it’s not part of a pattern of abusive behaviour – as long as they’re ready and willing to change, things might have a chance.
We’ve all been guilty of shouting when feeling impassioned. It becomes something more worrying when anger is an ongoing part of your relationship, and you feel it’s being used to control or intimidate you.
Sally recommends speaking to your partner when any conflict has subsided, specifically going for a walk, as the lack of eye contact can make people feel more comfortable to share their emotions.
Let them know that the way they process an argument can be triggering or frightening for you, and that you know there may be disagreements, but you’d like to ensure they’re dealt with in the most mature way possible.
From there, you can work to foster a healthier approach to conflict. As long as your partner is receptive to this, it could create a much better dynamic.
Sally says: ‘Anger mutes and shuts up everybody else. It steals all the oxygen in the room, scares everybody, and they get their own way.
‘Yet, ultimately, no one can live with that, and it comes back to bite them.
‘But you’re not stuck. It can be sorted. You can come up with much more constructive ways of responding than a scary, angry response.’
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