Happy New Year everyone! Is one of your New Years goals to build a stronger relationship and improve your communication with your partner in 2015? Well fabulous! Here is a tool that just might help you get going with that…I’m starting a 5-part series on enhancing your relationship and over the next few weeks you’ll get 5 core tools you can start implementing TODAY! So let’s get to it…
Do you end up in an escalated fight with seemingly no end?
Do you go straight for a solutions without actually discussing the issue?
In the midst of discussion do you find yourself overwhelmed by emotion?
Do you say spiteful, hurtful, or non-truths just to make a point in the middle of discussion?
If any of this speaks to you, you might be interested in learning about Time-outs!
What’s a “Time-out”?
Time-outs are a tool that you as a couple can utilize in times of high emotions, whether you are in a screaming match or simply too emotionally affected to continue in an effective manner with the discussion.
In times of high emotions, it is imperative to realize that the discussion has taken a wrong turn and is no longer being effective. Sometimes you may feel like you need to keep talking out the issue until you feel better but, as you’ve probably experienced, this almost never produces results.
Did you know it takes 90 seconds for an emotion to run its course through your body? However, if you keep feeding this emotion with reinforcing thoughts it will perpetuate.
So how can you move passed this?
How a Time-Out Works:
Calling a Time-out allows both you and your partner the opportunity to breath it out and calm down. Putting this space in between moments of intense issue discussion is extremely beneficial to fully understanding each other and maintaining your commitment to being a team.
The 4 Elements of Creating & Utilizing a Time-out:
- Create a code word that you both agree upon and ideally carries a little humor to help break the tension.
- Agree upon a max amount of time your Time-out can be. (This can be modified in the moment to a shorter amount of time if necessary.)
- Use the time-out to calm down your emotions and refocus on your partnership i.e., talk a walk/run, read something, meditate, whatever gives you time to find clarity.
- The timeout caller reinitiates the conversation at the agreed upon time.
If this sounds like a tool that can greatly benefit you and your partner for “next time”, set a day and time to agree upon a code word and time.
Have you tried Time-outs? How is it working for you? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
Be sure to check back next week. We’ll be chatting about how to handle the discussion AFTER the Time-out!