Arguments are bound to happen in any relationship. Even if you are a new couple, you will someday eventually have your first argument.
Though arguing is a normal part of any relationship, how and where you argue as well as how you recover and reconnect, can make or break your relationship. When repairing your relationship after you’ve had a disagreement and you both feel emotionally charged, there are a few critical things to consider. I want to share a few techniques with you to help you reconnect. Choose one or two to add to your toolbox, something that will work for you.
Try a “retake”.
During an argument, we might say things we don’t mean. Some people are fierier than their partner. They might raise their voice or say something nasty. When you notice yourself doing this, it is the perfect time to use this technique .Say, “sorry can I retake that” and respond more kindly. Improve your tone, choose better words and reconnect.
Don’t make excuses for your behaviour.
Own up to what you did wrong immediately rather than make excuses. We should always be mindful that the delivery of a message will affect how it is received. For example saying, “you shouldn’t over react when I am rude, that’s just me” shows no self awareness at all.
Allow cool-off time.
After an argument, allow the two of you to cool off. Try and sort things out before the end of the day. Going to bed angry affects your sleep and opens the door to assumptions and anxious thoughts.
Touch is one of the essential aspects of a relationship. For example, after an argument, when you are trying to connect, try and give each other a ten-second hug. You can also hold hands while you are resolving and reconnecting. Physical touch can help the parasympathetic nervous system calm us down. It will lower the heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the cortisol levels after the argument.
Step into your partners’ shoes and replay the situation again. Again, roleplay can help your partner understand how their behaviour is perceived. Remember, when you try this technique, the goal is to reconnect, so nastiness and contemptuousness shouldn’t have any place in this exercise.
The most valuable of all techniques is to LISTEN. Unfortunately, we often fall into the trap of interrupting each other, especially when our body starts reacting to our emotional overload. A helpful tip here is to press your lips together until your partner says they have finished talking. You can also use an object, a spoon or a cloth, and the person holding the fabric is the only one talking. Then, when the person says they have said what they want to say, the other partner can control the cloth and reflect what they understand and state their side.
Did you know that we all have our unique apology language? When you apologise to your partner, ask your partner if they accept the apology. Sometimes we need to hear something specific about the apology’s context before we allow ourselves to move on and reconnect without a partner. Learn your partners’ apology language.
As you ease back into a state of feeling reconnected, make use of the moments when you are both feeling calm and on the same page to share about your dreams, what you love about your relationship, what you love about your partner and what you would like to work on or improve. These are the golden moments in any relationship.