The argument is getting heated and you realize you are getting nowhere! What do you do?
Allow the conversation to spiral out of control, get worked up, and risk saying things that will be hard to repair? OR do you recognize that this is happening, and you allow yourself to take a timeout?
When it’s said this way, it’s easy to choose the taking a timeout option. But obviously this is easier said than done.
Thinking back to the managing emotions post, it’s vital to know your triggers so you can make the call of when you need to take a timeout and cool off!
I encourage all couples to have the conversation of what a timeout will look like in their relationship. Together come up with a hand signal or a random word you will use when needing to call your own timeout.
Here are some things to consider when needing to take a timeout.
Call your own timeout. If you want to protect your relationship, do not tell your partner that they need a timeout, trust me, this is only adding fuel to the fire! By calling your own timeout, you are sending the message that you are aware you are getting amped up and need to take a time to refocus and slow down.
Respect whoever calls the timeout. If a timeout is requested, the best thing you can do is to respect the time needed to cool off, whether this is for yourself or your partner.
Agree on a time to come back to the conversation. This is where most couples mess up. They each cool off and realize that things are fine again and don’t want to mess it up so instead of coming up with a solution or allowing themselves to hear their partner out, they move on to the next activity or conversation. The best way to avoid this, is to agree on a time to come back to the conversation and finish the conversation!
While you are in a timeout here are things you should not be doing:
What you should be doing:
Stay tuned as I will discuss what you should do when you come back from your timeout!
If you would like to learn how you can apply this process in your relationship and would like a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist to guide you in this process, reach out to Priscilla to schedule your first session. Sessions can be in the office or online! You may also check out some online relationship classes and an upcoming couples workshop!
Priscilla specializes in teaching couples how to make positive change in their relationship. If you would like to schedule a free consultation to see if this would be the right fit for you, you can contact Priscilla here. If would like a step-by-step online video guide on how to apply these skills to your relationship, check out Priscilla’s online class called Relationship Wellness. These skills are taught in more detail and you can learn these skills on your own time.
I'm happy that you have found your way here, you will find information to help you gain insight on yourself and your relationship. Know that the information provided here is not a substitute for therapy. I specialize in working with couples and individuals who are pursuing to improve their relationships. Feel free to give me a call or send me an email for your free consultation. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to receive other tips and advice on connecting with others and enhancing your life.