Communication between couples vs arguments
- If you and/or your partner feel your frustration rising request a “time out” by saying something like, “I need to take 5 minutes off (or 10 minutes, if you prefer) so we can calm down”
- During the “time out” both should take a few deep, slow breaths, letting them out completely. While apart attempt to put yourselves in the other’s shoes to understand the other’s desires and feelings and what kind of compromises you might be willing to make.
- When returning set your mobile device for 3 minutes and one tries to speak in a problem-solving voice (devoid of blaming, interpreting the other’s meanings behind their statements, or inflammatory comments). It’s important that the other doesn’t interrupt. He/she can make notes for when it’s his/her turn.
- When the timer goes off the first one should stop and set the timer again for the other to talk uninterrupted for 3 minutes. Continue until both are making polite requests and suggesting positive solutions.
- If another time-out is needed repeat the above steps until there’s some understanding and resolution or until the topic gets tabled for another day and time (making a specific appointment).
- If you are REALLY looking for a solution attempt to discontinue repeating accusations that haven’t helped in the past — so you know they’re unlikely to help this time around.
- If the above tips aren’t successful think about making an appointment for couple-counseling at Terry Hefter Associates, LLC —312-280-1166 —- firstname.lastname@example.org.