#1 Tip I teach couples
De-escalation of an argument!
Bonus post that I think can be very helpful for couples…
To Help Your Marriage the Next Time You Get Into a Fight
Doable ACTION ITEMS Today!
De-escalate an Argument Before Causing Hurt Feelings
The key ingredient to de-escalating a fight is to start with this ONE thing BEFORE a fight ever happens!
The ONE Thing You Need To Do Before Anything Else…
Game plan it out BEFORE an argument ever happens!
You’ve got to do this when you’re not in an argument.
Set aside time to for you and your spouse to talk about the following steps you will take the next time an argument begins to escalate.
By setting a time aside to decide on these important decision points – BEFORE you need it – can help prevent saying things you don’t mean in the heat of the moment.
Step By Step Guide On What to Discuss
There are specific agreement points that you both must agree to.
1st Important Decision Point:
Decide on a: CODE WORD
During this game planning talk…you will come up with a code word that you both can use when things are starting to get escalated.
All it takes is one person to realize when things are escalating and be able – in that moment – to say the code word to help reduce escalation.
Coming up with a code word:
Your code word can be anything
A funny word that makes you both laugh
- A color
- A food
What the code word really means…
When one of you says the agreed upon code word, it’s symbolic to timeout hand signal being raised in the middle of an argument that says:
“I don’t want us to hurt each other any further. So, let’s stop. Take a pause. And come back together to talk this through when we aren’t so heated.”
In fact, you can say these exact words after you say your code word if you need to.
2nd Important Decision Point:
Ok, you’ve got your code word. The next step during this conversation between you is to decide how long the cool off time will be.
Set a: COOL OFF TIMEFRAME
Once both of you agree on a code word, the next action item is:
- Take at least a 25 minute break to let yourself calm before coming back together to talk.
- Determine together what the length of time will be.
- Just make sure it’s at least 25 minutes at a minimum.
- It can be longer but not shorter.
During this 25 minute break, it’s super important that you aren’t thinking about how you’re right and you’re spouse is wrong!
This time is to be used to help calm you. Here are some examples how:
- Take a walk outside.
- Walk the dog.
- Listen to music.
Use this time to soothe you not continue to escalate you.
Reason Why this is So Helpful for Couples
*Bonus Tip: This is why you want to have this conversation beforehand.
You want to game plan it out BEFORE you ever leave an argument to cool off. The reason for this is…
If you leave your spouse in the middle of an argument (say you go into another room to cool off, for example) your spouse might think you are leaving them in the middle of an argument.
By setting this up ahead of time, you both know what to expect and the reasons behind what you’re doing. Which is….to not say things you don’t want to say to the one person you love most.
3rd Important Decision Point:
Ok, so…you’ve decided on the code word, decided how long you both will take to cool off, now you need to decide where you meet back up. I call this the reconnection location.
Have a: RECONNECTION LOCATION
Once you’ve had time to calm, you can reconnect again to repair the argument. You will need to decide on a location that’s comfortable for you both to meet together again.
You want this location to be a place that’s comfortable. Where you both can talk to each other while looking at each other.
Some examples include:
- Comfy chairs that are next to each other so you can see each other
During this time, let one person talk about what was upsetting them while the other listens. Then switch roles.
When you can reunite from a calmer place, you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn about how to care for each other through repairing during these reconnection talks.
*Blog is intended for educational and informational purposes only.