By Chandrama Anderson
Premarital and Couples: How to Stop an ArgumentUploaded: May 24, 2019
1. Close your mouth (really, it works! But read on . . . ).
2. Make the "T" for time-out signal with your hands.
3. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt (his/her intention is useful, even if the impact on you is poor). Most arguments are a panic cry for secure attachment.
4. If your heart rate is 90 or above, you need to take a 20-30 minute break.
After that agree to talk for about 20 minutes.
5. Your goal is to be curious, to understand your partner further. Drop out of content (what the argument appears to be about [symptoms, into process (what you feel emotionally, physically, spiritually).
6. Notice what's happening in your body, notice your partner's body.
7. Share your process, e.g., I am really tight in my shoulders and I feel disrespected. Listen to your partners process. Connect with each other; make eye contact, smile, say "Hi"-- in other words address the need for secure attachment.
8. Once you are both calm, and ready to return to the content of your DISCUSSION, ask: "What is there NEW about this topic?" Do not repeat what's already been said.
9. Your goal is to go slowly, ask questions, check in with each other, have a desire to learn more about yourself and your partner. Your goal is not to make your point, get in a jab, or out-talk your partner.
10. If you're digging in your heels, ask yourself what's going on? Return to step 6.