My Brain Hurts

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My Brain Hurts!

Round three and the logical thoughts and emotional feelings have been puked onto your bedroom floor. Here we go again. Yes we are in our room looking at each other dumbfounded, trying to decipher what the other one is spewing out of their pie hole. Let’s be real for a moment. You know the scene. You have been trying to get your point across every which way possible and your significant other is piling up more bricks than Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  One of you is an emotional communicator, where you may cry, laugh, or yell. You try to convince by using your feelings. The other is a cognitive communicator. There must be fact, rational, and logic. Surly we can fix this disagreement right now.  You both wonder how long it will take to break down the wall by slamming your head against it. No wonder my brain hurts.

Before we can begin to understand each other, we must accept that we have different styles of communication and neither is right or wrong, it just is. Validation of one another is important within any relationship. Validation does not equal understanding or that you agree, but rather you recognize the point they are trying to make. You acknowledge that you are listening and not just thinking about what you are going to say next.  Easier said than done, right?

A common mistake is yelling at your partner. We feel misunderstood, and become passionate about what we are saying. If we raise our voice somehow they will understand me more. This concept is like me yelling at a blind person so I can make them see. I’m not a yeller, but I do find myself passive aggressive. Jabs of negativity can be just as damaging as yelling.  My tone of voice is also something to be desired, or at least I have been told.

And what about those who withdrawal and say nothing.  According to the authors of the book Fighting for Your Marriage, “withdrawal and avoidance are different manifestations of a pattern in which one partner shows an unwillingness to get into or stay in important discussions. Withdrawal is an indicator that helps researchers predicts divorce with surprising accuracy”. I have found that withdrawal cycle seems to occur when one partner pushes more for a result and the other climbs deeper into their safe place of silence.

So where do we go from here? By educating yourself you can be a step ahead of the next disagreement. Readers Digest has always been a great source of advised even in my parent’s time.  They have “Three Ways to Defuse a Runaway Argument”

These tension-tamers can short-circuit an argument that’s getting too hot to handle.

    1.Use anger as a red-alert sign to stop the discussion. Walk away and use meditation, exercise, or another pleasant activity to de-stress.

  1. Reconnect frequently during tough conversations. Use empathy and appreciation to stay close to your spouse. And be on the lookout for your spouse’s attempts to heal or avoid breaches.
  2. Soothe yourself and your spouse. Breathe deeply, slow down the conversation, and take a few minutes to review all the positive steps you’ve taken together to solve the problem already. Share your feelings. The more effectively you can soothe yourself and each other, the more productive your problem-solving session can be.

To read more from Readers Digest on communication, Click Here

-Alice