In my last two posts, I wrote of two common communication traps we may all encounter: inaccurate mindreading – mistaking the motivation behind our partners’ words and actions – and all-or-nothing language that limits our conception and perception of them.
Today, consider how you relate to your partner. How do you each manage your emotions particularly anger? How often have you had a positive outcome when one or both of you have been angry?
3. Emotional Arguments We’ve all heard the advice about never going to bed angry, but when one or both partners is very angry, a time out is better than an escalating argument. When we’re emotionally aroused, we’re not as rational. In a tantrum, a five-year-old will act like a toddler and an adult like a child.
In anger, we can say and do things we will regret and cause greater harm to one another and our relationships.
Each partner in an adult relationship has to take responsibility for his or her own emotions and disengage long enough to control anger as soon as it starts to simmer. A couple should agree on their rules of engagement and disengagement. When is it okay to take a time out and when is it okay to resume a discussion in a calm environment?