As you can imagine, two imperfect people will definitely generate disagreement, frustration and, yes, conflict in a relationship. When you marry, you bring your flaws, a little of the past, and a moderate amount of baggage. In that baggage is the hurt others have caused, your unforgiveness, and the triggers that remind you of just how hard-nosed you have to be.
The natural instinct of most individuals is to defend. When you find yourself in those heated moments, you don’t always know the best way to handle yourself. Typically, during disagreements, tempers flare, harmful words are exchanged, and people shut down.
However, the best option is to first try to defuse the argument. Defuse usually comes as a result of you wanting and needing to do better in the handling of the difficulties that surface in your relationships. It’s really about removing some of the sting by being mindful of the language and behaviors you choose to display. There are several ways to defuse a situation, but a great place to begin is with the following:
Carefully consider what should happen next with words and actions.
Planning the conversation is a critical piece. Knowing what you’re going to say prior to saying it, is an absolute must. In this area, being selective with your words and body language allows you to have better emotional control in that moment.
Although there are valid points you want to address in situations like the ones listed above, you must focus on your ability to listen. Listening— really listening—means you set aside your agenda and open yourself up to another point of view.
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Practice the power of the pause.
This is a method we teach that encourages individuals to take a step back. This necessary pause allows there to be some space between your emotions and actions. Whenever you start to hear something you don’t like or is opposite of your views, it’s important to pause before you simply react.
When emotions take control, you are unable to think as rationally as you would otherwise. You might be more prone to be hurtful. Thinking of the consequences by playing out that whole scenario will provide the awareness needed to maintain control over yourself. The thinking should be, “If I say this, here’s what will happen.” If what will happen is not the intended goal, a different action has to
The bottom line is, if you’re yelling, you are no longer listening, nor being listened to. When you fail to discuss what is on your mind, it only builds up and causes even more hostility later on, and being purposefully hurtful leads to wounds that are hard to heal.
Your goal during conflict is not to win; it’s to get your point across, listen for your partner’s point, and meet up somewhere in the middle with a reasonable solution. The benefit in being the peacemaker is that you have the power to lead the conversation and situation back to a happy space.
BMWK, are you ready to effectively defuse your arguments?