Have you ever got in an argument with your significant other and realized later it was stupid and a waste of time, energy and words because the actual topic wasn’t even important?
Disagreements are a normal part of a relationship. It’s all about how we handle them that makes the difference. My husband’s and my biggest challenge is that we both can be stubborn and bull headed and won’t back down. What do I mean by that? When one of us feels we are right, we will keep at it till the other backs down.
HMMMM? NOT THINKING THAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET THROUGH A DISAGREEMENT!
What ends up happening is we get reactive, neither will admit their part and then we end in a huff. I become passive aggressive, he becomes angry and we are at a stand still. We have gotten better at knowing when we need a break. If one of us is getting reactive we can call off the conversation and take a break until we are calm and collected. Sometimes this takes a few minutes and others it can take much longer.
So what do we do? Well, after implementing many different techniques we came up with one that seems to be working pretty well!
My husband listens to a podcast called “The Meateater.” This guy who does the podcast is an avid hunter and since my husband hunts he loves the content of the podcast. In one particular podcast, The Meateater was talking about when his wife and him are in disagreements they use a 1-10 scale. They each rate the topic on the scale with 1 being NOT important and 10 being very important. Depending on where they both fall depends on if they continue with the disagreement or not.
So for example, my husband and I were having a bit of a disagreement about the tone that was used. Yes we get very over sensitive on tone in our conversations. After going around and around and realizing we weren’t getting anywhere, my hubby said, “This is a one in my world.” Even though I was a bit ticked off, it really didn’t mean much to me either. I rated it as a two. So we both just dropped it. Knowing that it was so low on the scale told us it wasn’t even WORTH OUR TIME to continue discussing it, getting angry, and creating negative energy.
On the other hand, when we have had discussions that are higher up on the scale we know we need to continue discussing them and come up with some sort of resolution. Sometimes our numbers are really split. One of us is at the low end and the other one is at the high end. It tells us that the issue is important for one so the other person has to respect that and continue the conversation until there is a resolution. This definitely isn’t easy and if we both fall high on the scale we know we have to continue at some point and it takes a lot of positive communication skills to get through it effectively which we aren’t always great at.
When we are in the middle of a disagreement, I unfortunately don’t remember to implement this scale much. I’m grateful my hubby does because he can keep us on track and it makes a MASSIVE difference.
WHAT DO WE NOTICE?
It centers us both, it allows us to stop for a minute to do a check in, see the importance of the topic and go from there. I will tell you, we have been able to stop upcoming arguments in the moment!
AND……THIS IS REALLY FUNNY!
As I am writing this blog, it just happened. My husband was printing out pictures for our son who needs them for school. He made an off hand comment about the other person in the picture. So I called him on it. He started to explain that he didn’t mean it AND I still questioned him on why he said it. He just looked at me and said, “This factors in my world around a one on the scale”. Just by hearing that, I was able to stop right away and not pursue this conversation because it would have led to an argument. Honestly, it was a one for me too so there was no need to discuss it further and by naming it, I was able to stop and move on.
It’s always a work in progress and doesn’t work seamlessly everytime. We are always adjusting and figuring out next steps. The biggest impact it has had is when we both fall on the low end of the scale, it helps us both drop the conversation because of the lack of importance instead of stewing about something that isn’t necessary.
I HAVE to say..this is the only thing that has WORKED for us. I’d love to know what you think. Will you be able to implement this? Why or why not? Do you have a different strategy you use with your significant other?
Please share as any tip can be helpful and if it makes a difference for one person, then it is worth sharing!
Living in DAILY JOY!
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