5 Tips to Quickly Recover From an Escalating Argument with Your Partner
I confess. I am in the heat of the moment right now with my spouse! That’s right, right now. I am about to write what I am about to do or do what I am about to write; not sure what will come first. Just about every couple gets into this kind of downward spiral funk where each wants to be heard and each is reacting. Here is a chronological list of what I will do that has worked in the past.
1) Breathe!!!!! Take several moments to breathe in through the nose and out through the nose. Count to three in and then three out. Then increase the number by one until you breathe into six and breathe out to 6. This calms the sympathetic nervous system down enough so that your energy will shift and allows you to expand your behavioral repertoire when you reunite to shift the energy between the two of you.
2) Relax the muscles in your body from head to toe. We tend to hold a lot of tension in our face, shoulders, neck and stomach. Soften those muscles. You will find that working with the body via the breath and softening the muscles will change your thinking. Your partner will not seem like such a threat or such a ________(fill in the blank), as you rebalance your nervous system in this way. Let go.
3) Choose to be vulnerable. Stop protecting yourself. Drop your guard. You do not need to control how your partner is thinking or what your partner is saying or doing. As you practice all three of these tips, you get back in control of yourself and have the possibility of having a positive impact on your partner. Notice I have not even gotten you to the point where you re-engage with your partner.
4) NOW it is time to re-engage with your partner. No matter what has happened, see your partner as needing your love. In ‘A Course in Miracles, it says that EVERY ACTION IS EITHER A LOVING ACT OR A CALL FOR LOVE. Look at your partner as someone who needs your love. This is quite a shift from how you perceived him or her when in the heat of the argument or fight.
5) Tell your partner that you want to listen this time and will not interrupt. Be curious; be interested and DO NOT GO AFTER THE TRUTH. Just love; just pay attention. Be your most powerful (interpersonally speaking) self. If your partner is still stuck in the old energy and is not responding quickly to your changes, be patient. Your loving presence will ultimately take over the energy even if not immediate. Just know this, have faith in the power of your love and peace and enjoy what you get back from your partner.
I have learned that energy is contagious, both of the positive and negative variety. One more thing- I have already been engaging with my wife (following my advice and the focus of this article) and it is beginning to shift. Now I will say goodbye for now and fully re-engage with my lovely wife.