What to Do after a Fight
Research shows that most couples wait until things in their relationship are nearly beyond the point of no return before seeking help from a professional, instead of thinking of it as preventative care that can help them to avoid problems before they arise.
What happens when we fight?
When things become escalated the protective part of our brain becomes activated, causing us to either shut down or say and do things that we later regret. When this happens, our brain is so focused on defending our position that we become incapable of engaging in productive conversation. Working with a relationship coach or therapist that can help you learn the signs of when this is happening to you can be really helpful. When you have a better understanding of your reactions and how to manage them it increases the chances of being able to avoid a fight before it starts.
For those instances when a fight does happen, the best thing we can do is to take a time-out. Having an agreement already in place to take a 20-minute break when things become too heated can really help turn things around.
It’s OK to take a time out.
During this pause, it’s important to take a little bit of space from one another and do something that will help you to deescalate. Having a list of engaging activities to choose from ahead of time will help you to be more successful in distracting yourself and clearing your mind. Then, when you come back together with your partner take a few moments to make repairs by owning anything you said or did that led to things becoming escalated.
Working with an experienced relationship coach or therapist will teach you and your partner important communication, compromise, and conflict resolution skills that will benefit you far beyond the reaches of your romantic relationship.
Larissa Brown, MS owner of EmpowerME: Coaching & Workshops, is an international relationship coach with years of experience helping couples create healthy and stable relationships.