By Amber L'Estrange, Photo by Juuke Schoorl
I want to begin on this topic by confessing, I have not always been the best at resolving lovers quarrels in the most mature and effective way.
I have always WANTED to be a level headed, zen-like master in communication when times get tough, but my double Leo ways have tended to get in the way, and, oh so quickly, turn me into an untamable beast.
I may have been born with my fiery lion nature, but I am determined to overcome my shortcomings and to be proud in the way I deal with disagreements. I have begun the journey of retraining my master control centre (brain) to direct me to a more efficient way of processing relationship hiccups, and I would love to share where I began...
Though Landmark Education, I found some freedom from my intense emotions. I learned that I had more control than I thought I did in how to get over dramas and realized that emotional upsets were actually an exciting and wonderful opportunity for GROWTH.
I realized that If I could catch myself in that moment before I flip, I could apply a new strategy that would move me towards a better version of myself as well as inspire an authentic closeness and vulnerability with my partner.
To be coachable, I had to give up "being right" (put the ego aside!) and be more committed to an amazing relationship than I was to my old, wounded ways.
With intention, strong will, action and perseverance I am using these tools in cruchy moments and moving through them waaaaaaaaay quicker than I used to. I believe using these simple tools can help anyone carve out a new way of being so why not give it a go?
Here are the 4 BEST tools to apply (a beat before the moment of heat) to resolve relationship drama.
We all have emotional triggers hiding within us that have are spawned from painful and shocking moments we may have experienced in love/life. Our romantic partners, the ones we open our hearts to, are usually the ones that (subconsciously) set off these triggers, a confronting, yet incredible opportunity to face them and release them for good.
Openly discussing our triggers with our partners can inspire compassion for each others and our histories.The aim here is to create a pact to mindfully avoid setting each others triggers off, leaving less chance of having to face misunderstandings and anxiety.
APPLYING A NEW PERSPECTIVE
If you were to ask yourself what was really at the basis of an emotional upset with your partner, what do you think you would find? Strip away the details of he said/she said and you are left with one simple fact… YOU ARE TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY. And the reason you take things personally is because you think its about you.
Consider that its not about you and it may never be.
If the wife had initially gone to a compassionate perspective, eg “He must be tired and overwhelmed from a big day at work” (not taking things personally), that would lead her to the action of comforting her husband, moving to him with affection and care which leads to the husband feeling comforted, understood and loved, leaving good vibes all round!
You can see how ones perspective affects actions, and therefore, outcomes.
The truth is, we have a choice, in every moment to choose a perspective. Why would we not choose the one that leads us to happiness and peace?
We all have the tendency to build a set of beliefs or “stories” that we tell ourselves about work, relationships, love or oneself that become our automatic thought when we are triggered.
I challenge you to have a alternative thought to revert your mind to in the moment you face a potential altercation. Let this new and more beneficial thought come from a place of compassion and love. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt and let their behavior be about THEM, not YOU.
The power of apology Is amazing.. Wars would have been avoided if some people were better at apologizing and admitting they were wrong. The problem is, it takes a person who is willing to step out of their ego's commitment to “being right” and into their commitment to peace and getting back to love.
Apologizing does not mean you did something wrong, it means you can take responsibility. For instance, a common statement coming out of my mouth is “I apologize for loosing my temper or taking things personally”. I am not saying my feelings are not valid or that I was in the wrong, I am simply addressing something I could have done differently to support a resolution, but was not able to in the heat of the moment.
Finding something to apologize for during relationship drama is a great way to defuse the fire, pull the guards down, and open things up to be resolved.
And for a side note, the tone in which one apologizes counts! As hard as it may be in the moment, one must aim for an authentic and heartfelt apology.
OFFERING A REQUEST
Requesting what you need from your partner in order to avoid this type of upset in the future is the final step.
I struggled with this for a long time, refusing to accept my husband's offering as genuine because I had to ask for it. I finally realized this was the ultimate self-sabotage, and a ridiculous self-defense mechanism I was using to push love away and stay “being right” over there in my dark, boring, lonely little corner.
Once again, perspective can be used here as a constructive crutch to open the gate way to resolution. When your partner delivers your request to you (as asked), interpret their actions as them wanting to please you because they love you rather than “just doing it because I told them to”. This perspective will led you both to getting the relationship you want and sharing an enriching and lasting love.
I am still learning and reminding myself to apply these new, transformative tools and have noticed that the journey is a whole lot easier with my partner on the board with me. I am constantly reminding myself that practice makes perfect!
I want to leave you with the idea that It is easy to love someone when they are being nice, but the real work lies in the moments when someone is being hard to love. Apply these insights and tools you have to make a stand to for love, not war, on the home front.
Have you been stuck in an argument pattern that leaves you no good results? Perhaps you have discovered some drama resolving ways you can share? Please tell us in the comments!