This is a little technique that Steve and I use. Steve thought it up one day when we both were fighting with each other over the stupidest stuff. We were both sick and tired of fighting and together we perfected this little technique! I am not saying that it will work for you because both people have to be willing to set the rules and then follow those rules, no matter how angry you are. If you can do that, this should work for you and “your other” as well as it works for me and my other.
Okay first a little compare, if you will. Have you ever compared a fight to a storm? If you live in the mid-west you are all too familiar with the weather man using terms like, “conditions are right for…” or “storm warning” or “storm watch” etc. Well fights like storms are capable of escalating to monster levels with devastating results. Whole cities can be taken out just as whole marriages and families ripped apart. Lives can be permanently altered by a storm or a fight.
Okay now another thought imagine just one or two of the happiest days of your life does it involve calm weather? Well you probably can’t remember that part or if you can it was just the backdrop – somewhere in there did it include your most significant other? Somewhere in there does it involve the feeling of love? Capture that feeling for just a few minutes. Take as long as you need to feel that feeling and really feel it for “your other.” Don’t let that feeling of love be invaded by something else like, something they did or said or did not do to make you feel angry with them right now, just focus on the love for them in this moment.
Now when you are ready, here are the steps we use when things are starting to spin out of control.
Fight watch – this means that conditions are brewing, someone is feeling down, tired and aggravated not necessarily by their other but for any reason at all. At this point the person feeling this way should clearly state that there is a fight watch in effect. Just like when the weather man says there is a tornado watch in effect. It doesn’t mean that the tornado has hit earth it just means that the conditions are right to produce a tornado.
Do not be offended when someone calls a fight watch, rather; be respectful and understanding that they are not at the top of their game and give them time and space to recover. Try listening to what they have to say. Don’t try to solve their problem or explain their feelings to them. Just listen with a caring ear. Sometimes that is all they need. However, if this individual is always in fight watch mode then there may be a bigger more serious problem that may require professional help. Don’t overlook that either.
Fight warning – someone has pushed the button and ignored the “fight watch.” The fight has escalated. Both parties must get away from one another immediately and find a safe place. Like a tornado warning the storm has landed on the ground near you. You don’t just stand there and cuss the storm out. You get to a safe place. The person needs to find their safe place until a reasonable level of conversation can occur.
Time out – physical separation must occur or there will be devastation. If a structure or a person keeps getting hit with a storm or a fight eventually it will weaken and loss can become permanent. Life is hard enough why not try something to help make things a little easier. I know that I am happier with “my other” in my life than without him.
Try this and see if it works for you. It sure works for us. Rarely do we get beyond a watch now and our communication has improved tremendously. Peace and happiness be with you!