In this episode, Dr. John and I have a conversation on what you can do to help yourself back down from an argument. We discuss things like: embracing humility, skills for calming yourself (aka self-regulation), tools for identifying your emotions as they begin to escalate, understanding your triggers, and so much more.
Some of the main takeaways from this episode are summarized below:
1. Humility serves your relationship well
Dr. John said it best by paraphrasing the famous saying “pride cometh before the fight.”
When you’re in a long-term, committed relationship or marriage, your relationship will benefit greatly if both partner’s have some humility.
When our ego’s get involved, it makes it difficult to:
- back down when we’re triggered,
- get curious about our partner’s perspective, and
- show gratitude for our partner.
To develop your humility, it can be helpful to make a practice of asking yourself these questions when your ego starts speaking up:
- What is feeling attacked or threatened in this moment?
- What are alternative conclusions about my partner to the ones I’m currently drawing?
- How can I approach this with curiosity vs. defensiveness and pride?
Keep reading (or listening) for strategies to delay your reactions.
2. Exercise your self-regulation skills
Self-regulation is essentially the way that you handle your emotions when they start to get activated, or in simple terms, when you start to get fired up.
The ability to self-regulate is a skill that is incredibly important in close relationships. Well developed self-regulation skills help you de-escalate, regulate, discharge your emotions, and make peace without engaging in a full-
fledged blow out fight.
In this episode we give strategies for de-escalating. You can learn more about these and about self-regulation on my Instagram, where I did an entire series on self-regulation.
Some strategies include:
- Increasing the delay in your trigger and response so that you can increase the chance of a better response
- Taking a time out of a difficult discussion
- Discharging your energy vs. stuffing your intense emotions
- Shifting your focus and expanding your perspective
- Identifying and labeling the intensity of your emotions (“I’m at a 4, when I get to a 6 we need a break”)
What else is there?
To learn more, listen to the full episode above or anywhere you listen to podcasts!
And check out the short videos on self-regulation linked at the bottom of this post.
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