More Amour ~ Start Sweet! By Alison
Too often, I find myself swimming upstream in the middle of an argument I didn’t mean to get into. It’s so easy to get off track when emotions are high and we have to talk about hard things! Luckily, there are a few tricks we’ve learned that help (*most*) disagreements end with a snuggle instead of a door slam. One of the things that works best for us is to always Start Sweet.
Imagine someone throws you a football in a gentle, soft, let’s-all-play-nice kinda way. How would you throw it back? Now, imagine the same ball hurled right at your gut. How would you throw it back? Probably with the same kind of intensity they threw it at you, right?
The next time you need to have a complicated conversation with your spouse, imagine that you are throwing a ball to them. The way you throw it is probably the way they’ll throw it right back…so toss gently! If you genuinely want to solve the problem instead of stir up an argument, present your complaint or concern with a nice, neutral voice tone. If you launch into a tirade, you’ll get your spouse’s defenses up and they will most likely respond in anger. Play nice, and you’ll find resolution instead of war.
This also works on the receiving end. If someone approaches you angrily with a complaint and throws you a verbal fast ball, remember that for a split second, you are holding the ball. You have just an instant to decide whether you will throw it back harder than ever, or if you will change the game. When you choose to not buy in to anger and instead respond with control and understanding, you allow the tension to dissolve and a real conversation to occur.
Try it Today!
If you have something to say, remember that you are setting the tone for the whole conversation from your opening sentence. Start sweet so it can end sweet!