How to Diffuse an Argument
It’s so easy to toss in a zinger comment when the conversation escalates and tensions rise. One or both parties can easily be riled to the point where no productive communication can happen.
It’s never fun to feel like you’re on the defense, and even if it feels good for a split second to say the exact, pointed thing you wanted to say in the middle of a heated argument, it doesn’t feel that way for long.
This is my secret to diffusing the arguments I’ve had with my husband. Does it solve every problem we’ve ever encountered? No. But does it help us find a productive way forward? It absolutely does.
This big secret? It’s so simple.
Gentleness is a powerful weapon in the middle of a hard conversation. It’s a weapon that helps you fight for your marriage instead of against your spouse.
Gentleness requires self-restraint and it shows deliberate care. Even though you have the power to wound your partner with careless words, it shows you have the wisdom to bridle your tongue.
You cannot be both gentle and kind while also being critical or dismissive of your spouse’s feelings.
Making gentleness the goal is a good first step to resolving conflict.
In order to employ your weapon of gentleness in the next argument you find yourself in, try these simple steps:
- Soften the tone of your voice.
- Lean in to listen to what your spouse is really trying to say, even if it’s coming out kind of rough. Examine his body language. Is he stressed? Does he feel insecure? Does he feel heard?
- Establish a physical connection. Reach out for his hand. Pull him close for a hug.
- Acknowledge what you understand about what he is saying. When the opportunity arises, be honest about what you need.
There are volumes of details to communicate with a spouse, and the breakdown of communication is bound to happen somewhere in the mix. Proceeding with gentleness is a proactive and effective way to side-step drama and re-capture your husband’s heart.
Wife Step: Print out these steps and post them where you’ll easy see them.
Emily Sue Allen is the founder of the Kindred Mom blog and host of the Kindred Mom podcast. Soul care for moms and helping women find rest and joy in the midst of busy life are among her greatest passions. She is a contemplative, creative soul who celebrates the beauty of a humble, handmade life and deeply values the power of encouragement. Emily lives with her six kids and husband of 13 years in the Pacific Northwest, and personally blogs at emilysueallen.com. Find Kindred Mom on Instagram and Facebook, and follow Emily personally on Instagram.