Relationslip: Arguing in Whispers
I'm sure you've all been there before: You're in the midst of an argument, and it escalates to the point that you no longer remember the reason you started yelling in the first place. It's that fraction of a moment when something the other half says sets you off. It often takes a great deal of time to get each other calmed down, unwound and back to a stable state in which you can return to the regularly scheduled discussion at hand.
The other night we were having a chat in bed about what life is going to look like after the baby arrives. We got to talking about finances and, for some reason, the discussion quickly turned from a pleasant brainstorming session into a disagreement. Or maybe not even a disagreement but a miscommunication. The first thing that usually happens at that point is our voices tend to get louder, our attitudes get meaner and our rationale goes out the window--much like the description in the first paragraph. But, at that moment I remembered an idea our friend Brenna had heard somewhere: try arguing in whispers.
It's such a noble thought, and as it entered my brain that night, I gave it a shot. Instead of raising my voice when I was upset, I started whispering.
It felt weird at first, but I realized the words I chose were better and more to the point because whispering caused me to actually think about what I was saying versus how loud I could say something that I don't really mean. Whispering provided me a fresh look at the situation and also some comedic relief to the situation as we both realized it was something pretty silly to get upset about.
Kels started whispering, too, and soon we realized there was no reason to be arguing in the first place. I'm pretty sure the argument ended right then and there, and we cuddled up together--a much better way to end the evening.
Just a little something to keep in your back pocket for a rainy day. Hopefully it will help you all as it helped us. Certainly not a change-the-world idea, but fun enough to give it a try.
Any other tips for cooling down a heated argument?