Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
Is This A Good Time?
You may have heard the old saying in comedy that ‘timing is everything’. Well, in relationships, timing may also be everything. If not, it is a close second. When is the best time to talk to your spouse about an issue? During an argument? Definitely not! If you want to come away feeling ignored and worst than you did when you started, then go ahead and give it shot.
The best time to discuss the facts surrounding an issue is when emotions are low and tempered. Trying to discuss something rationally during an argument will only prolong the argument and create more confusion about what started the argument (we have all been there!). It doesn’t take long before you are trying to solve every problem that ever existed between you.
The best time to talk is after the effects of the argument have diminished. And when is the best time to arrange that talk? During the argument? No. You and your partner must at some point discuss the rules of engagement (i.e. fight). Pick a time when everything is calm and discuss the rules for your ‘discussions’. Don’t use the word ‘argument’, that will create a ‘defensive’ posture for you and your spouse. All you need to do is agree that when the discussion gets heated, either one of you can ask for a temporary truce, with an agreement to get back together at a specific time to finalize the conversation.
During this ‘cooling off’ period, you need to gather your thoughts, maybe even put them in writing. This helps you to clarify your position in your mind and you can then better explain yourself later.
Be a craftsman in speech that thou mayest be strong,
for the strength of one is the tongue,
and speech is mightier than all fighting.
- Maxims of Ptahhotep, 3400 B.C.
Fight for your opinions,
but do not believe that they contain the whole truth,
or the only truth.
The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.
The Web Sage