He said what?
If a guy tells you he feels pressured, you might immediately think it has something to do with you.
I’m not saying that isn’t true, but it could also mean that he is feeling pressure from a ton of other sources in his life as well.
If you’re unsure, you’ll have to ask him. And, depending on his answer, You’ll be able to decide what to say.
Here’s what you could say when he feels pressured if…
You are the one pressuring him
Let’s say you asked him what or who is pressuring him and he told you that you are the one pressuring him.
The next question is, how do you respond?
1) “I’m sorry you feel that way. Can you please explain why?”
Although you might feel outraged, I’d advise you to react differently. Getting mad at him or simply asking him “why” might not encourage him to open up to you.
The trick here, as confirmed by Carl Rogers, a reputable therapist, is to make him feel understood, not to become defensive.
“When you are in psychological distress and someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good!”
So, try to be that person for him without taking things personally. This tip is important if you really want to know what goes on in his mind.
Then, analyze his answers and respond accordingly.
Staying calm and rational during a volatile situation is more important than being right.
2) “Let’s set boundaries to make the pressure go away.”
Here’s the thing:
You might think it’s “normal” for him to text you throughout the day. However, it might not be “normal” for him.
Or, you might think it’s “normal” for you two to spend all your weekends together because you’re a couple. However, for him, spending time with you every weekend might not be “normal”.
That’s why you need boundaries. To know exactly what “normal” is and what to expect from each other.
Let me give you an example:
I was once in a relationship with a guy who used to play video games A LOT. I’m not talking about the average person who plays an hour or two every day. I’m talking about someone obsessed with playing.
I couldn’t understand why he needed to play as much and I was constantly putting pressure on him to see each other more often and do more activities together.
After a while, I came to realize that what I perceived as “just a game” wasn’t actually “just a game” for him. He loved playing it and he saw it as a healthy way to relax, not something that was wasting his time.
Things sadly didn’t work out between us, but I learned this:
Setting boundaries is healthy, it avoids putting pressure on each other and helps understand each other.
3) “I get it, let’s take some time to cool off.”
Now, another no bullsh*t tip that I have for you is this: give him some space. Just tell him that you understand and that you should take some time to cool off.
Do you want to know why is this effective?
As soon as he won’t feel pressured anymore, it’s likely that he will run back to you. You see, he won’t have anything to run from if you don’t chase him.
This dynamic is popular in relationships and is called the runner-chaser dynamic.
In a nutshell: one individual in the couple is always pushing for more intimacy and time together, which causes the other person to run away.
If you don’t chase him, if you don’t try to find out what’s bothering him and what he feels pressured about, he will start doing it.
And then it’s going to be easier for you to understand what makes him tick and what is stressing him out.
4) “I’m sorry for asking too much from you.”
Lastly, if you acknowledge your mistakes and communicate the right way, you’ll be able to be a better partner.
I know that it’s hard to understand someone when you have your own expectations and visions of what your relationship should look like.
But, it is also important to take into consideration his perspective as well.
Accepting the fact that you might be adding pressure on this guy will help in the long run: he’ll feel less nervous around you, more comfortable, and eventually more willing to open up.
So, if he feels pressured because of you and your expectations or requests, you could say any of the above-mentioned things.
A relationship is about communicating and understanding each other. It’s not something magical that works without making an effort. It’s not all about astrological compatibility or physical chemistry.
He feels pressured by other factors
If he said he feels pressured by his financial situation, job, family, or anything else that’s not under your control, here’s what you could say:
5) “I’m here for you if you want to talk about it.”
When he says he feels pressured, he might not want to talk about it right away.
Therefore, you’ll need to be there for him if he wants to discuss it.
If this is the case, you can say: “I’m here for you if you want to talk about it.”
This will help him feel comfortable enough to open up about what’s bothering him.
Once he feels more at ease, he’ll most likely open up and express his emotions.
However, if he refuses to talk about it even though you’re there for him, don’t force the conversation.
6) “Is there something I can do to help?”
The next thing you could say is: “Is there something I can do to help?”
This will show that you’re willing to help him and that you want to make his life better.
And it would be true, right?
You are truly concerned for him and want to see him happy and feel better. You want him to be able to handle the situation he’s in.
Coming from this position, it will be easier for him to accept your help and be open to giving you more details about what he feels pressured about.
However, don’t go out of your way to help him. This could add even more pressure on him. He probably doesn’t want to get you too involved because it could make him feel guilty.
7) “Share your thoughts with me.”
Although you might think so, this point is not similar to point 6.
This one is based on what the author of the Myth of Stress, Andrew Bernstein discovered.
“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.”
So, if you manage to figure out what’s going on inside his head, you might be able to help him with a change in perspective.
You might be able to change the way he sees his situation and help him come to terms with the fact that it’s not so bad.
That’s why saying “share your thoughts with me” can be a good thing to say when he says he feels pressured.
Talking to you about it might open up some new perspectives and help him see the situation from a different angle. And this could be exactly what he needs.
8) “You have all the reasons to feel this way.”
This one is a very powerful thing to say, especially when he feels like something is wrong with him.
You see, one of the main factors that cause people to feel pressured is their expectation of perfection.
Even though they make an effort to be perfect and do everything in their power to achieve a goal, they feel very bad about themselves if they fail at some point.
If you say this powerful phrase, you’ll help him relax and reduce his anxiety.
I should know because it’s something that has helped me out so much. Being supportive is the first thing to do even if you don’t know what happened.
Why am I saying this?
Well, such behavior will encourage him to open up to you and give you the details you need to help him.
Taking his side is not only important for your relationship, but it also serves your purpose.
9) “You can get to the bottom of this.”
This might be the best thing to say to him if he’s stressed out and thinks he can’t manage to deal with his situation.
Let me tell you why.
When he is pressured, he might be very nervous about everything that’s going on. He might feel like it’s too much for him and that he can’t handle it.
He might even believe that there isn’t any way out of his situation.
And this is where you can come in and change his point of view.
You can say: “You can get to the bottom of this.”
It will reassure him and make him feel better about his situation. He’ll embrace it and believe that he has more control over his life.
Yes, such simple words can make wonders!
How to take the pressure off a relationship?
In case you are the one putting pressure on him and your relationship, it could be time for you to focus on practical and realistic advice on how to take the pressure off your relationship.
Listen, I know this could be hard for you. You have your wants and needs and it’s difficult to compromise, set boundaries, and so on.
However, you need to realize that if you want to keep your relationship in good shape, it’s not just about following a pattern and saying the right things.
It’s about understanding each other, communicating, being there for each other, sharing hopes and dreams, and so on.
So, here are some suggestions:
1) Ask yourself in what ways you’re pressuring him
The first thing you could do is to ask yourself in what ways you’re pressuring him.
Are you pressuring him to commit to you?
Are you pressuring him to spend more time with you?
Are you pressuring him to take care of your financial situation?
Are you pressuring him to spend time together doing things you like?
Do you pressure him by asking for a lot of attention?
Do you pressure him when you don’t allow time for his own hobbies, interests, and aspirations?
Are there any other ways in which you’re putting pressure on him? Think about it and then move on to the next point.
2) Try to understand why you’re doing this
After you identify the cause, next you’ll want to try to understand why you’re doing it.
You see, most people don’t realize how much pressure they’re putting on their partners until they try to stop.
This is why I want to encourage you to try and understand the reasons behind your behavior.
Are you insecure?
Are you afraid of something?
Where are your expectations coming from?
Are you lonely?
Do you have too much free time?
Do you trust him?
As soon as you answer these questions honestly, you’ll be able to figure out how to stop putting pressure on him.
3) Take action to solve the problem
The third thing you should do is take action.
Depending on what’s making you put pressure on him, you’ll want to find out how to stop.
I know you want your relationship to be perfect. However, it’s not always possible to control everything and make sure everything goes according to plan.
A relationship is not a well-thought-out scheme where you do everything perfectly. It’s about two people who choose to be together.
You can’t always be in control and manage to do everything according to plan because you’ll end up being extremely stressed and frustrated.
That’s why, if you want your relationship to last and flourish, it might be time for you to give up control and let things go naturally.
Focus on communication, setting boundaries, making compromises, and being positive. If you do that, you’ll take the pressure off your relationship.
The bottom line
When he says he feels pressured, you might not know what to say. A trillion things could go through your mind.
“What’s he talking about?”, you might ask yourself. “What did I do?”, you might think.
You could start saying things that are going to make the situation worse. Or you could say something genuine, like one of the things on my list, and make him feel better.
But, if you’re the one putting pressure on him and you know it, it’s not enough to say the right things. You need to take action too.
Stop pressuring him and start understanding why you’re doing it. It can be a difficult thing to do, but if you want your relationship to last, you’ll have to do it.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
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