In general, people tend to respond to unresolved conflict by either escaping/avoiding (i.e., throwing yourself into work, drowning yourself in tv/social media, etc) OR ruminating on why you are right (I.e., calling friends/family to vent, having one-sided arguments in your head, etc.). While responses such as these are completely natural, they can become unhelpful if done to excess. Here are 4 ways to reconnect with your partner after an argument:
1. Decide on a day and a time to continue the conversation. This is essential—be VERY specific about this. Even “tomorrow after dinner” can be too vague. Make sure to pick a SPECIFIC day and a SPECIFIC time.
2. Focus on SELF-soothing. Don’t overlook the fact that fighting with your partner is an extremely PAINFUL experience. Spend time engaging in relaxing and joy-filled activities (I.e., bubble bath, massage, walk, listening to music, going for a drive, etc) that will help center you and prepare you to revisit the difficult conversation.
3. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Verbal arguments can escalate so quickly. Writing your thoughts/feelings down on paper (or text) forces you to really focus on the focal point of what you’re trying to convey to your partner and allows you to communicate more succinctly.
4. Leave your pride at the door. This might be the hardest step but it is one of the most important. There is a high likelihood (although not guaranteed) that if you revisit the conversation with your defenses down then your partner will likely follow suit. A good way to start is by owning up to your part in the argument and apologizing if it feels authentic.
What are some ways you reconnect with your partner after an argument??