"The Away Protocols 1"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD
I have been married for more than a decade now. And in the past decade or so I have had more than my fair share of fights with my very significant other. I have learned a thing or two about managing anger , both hers and mine. And though the reasons for fighting is myriad , I find that the solution and prevention of them is universal.
Here are a few of the things that I have learned:
1) When in doubt. Back track. Step back.
Arguments often stem from the fact that the speaker or the receiver did not understand each other. I have seen how fast things escalate from a simple "I didn't say that" to a crying session that lasts for hours.(Mainly me, I cry in a corner , my significant other Sleeps it off.)
So the best thing to do is to state things simply. To say things clearly. To not be subtle and just let it all out so that there is no mistaking what you mean instead of what your partner understood from what you are hinting.
I found that when I keep it simple my sanity levels increase and my insanity levels decrease. Sounds simple right? Lets put it into practice now.
2) Never voluntarily step on a land mine unless absolutely necessary.
Couples fight and couples make up. In the course of your time together there are a gazillion little hurts and some Iceberg kind of issues that linger but are never fully talked about. Over time the tensions build up and like a tectonic plate that energy tends to be released in the most unexpected time and place. It could be in the middle of a friends wedding or a funeral. Fights break out whenever. Wherever.
The best time to not step on a land mine that is your partner is when they are Hungry or Lack any decent amount of sleep. These are times where they are simply supercharged emotionally and when stepped on or in this case triggered even slightly could result into catastrophic meltdowns. Think Chernobyl Levels and you will get the picture.
So A) Get a feel for your partners moods. It is not so hard. You are basically with them for a significant amount of time.
and B) Never ever push them when they are in this mode. Hungry. Sleepy. Not just worth it.
3) Shouting back never works.
And so some fights break out like some uncontrolled forest fire. The neighbors are enjoying you hurling insults at each other. You should be able to realize by now that in the middle of this argument shouting at your significant other will not work because they are shouting back at you at an even higher decibel. And with a little back and forth the decibel levels go way up that even angels might be disturbed as they lay up in the clouds.
So yeah fighting has a way of burning itself out. Don't add any more fuel to it by shouting back. One of you can't be flames. One of you needs to be the flameproof Material that doesn't catch the same fire. Easier said than done I know but it is a state that one can reach with enough practice. Resist the urge to shout back. Resist the urge to say that really witty comeback. Resist the urge to demean your partner even though at this point they are hurling everything but the kitchen sink at you. Resist.
Then when they have quieted down. Pick them up from the ashes of the flame and talk to them as you would a normal human being. You may find that they are back to being themselves and your strength has shown them how silly they were being.It might be that or it could rekindle another argument. Hehehehehe. In which case repeat and increase Resistance.
I am sure I learned a lot more since I was married but this is all I remember for the day. Do you have anything to add to the Away Protocols? I am sure you do.