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When Communication Boils Over

Flipping the script or "reframing" an argument with your someone takes some practice.


Take a breath, or 5. Slow down your reaction. If you are flooded, take more time. Research says 20 minutes.

When you approach your partner...

1. State your intention (with your partners potential fears in mind). "I hear that you.... My intention is/is not..."

2. State your emotions. "I am feeling..."

3. Name the scenario in your head that you are reacting to. "The story I am making up is...."

4. Ask for clarification. Stay open. "I am trying to stay curious. Can you help me understand?"

Example


Partner 1

1. "I understand you may not want to be truthful with me about xyz because you think I might leave/blow up. I have no intention of leaving and will try to hold my temper."

2. "I am feeling disconnected/alone/disrespected/angry/distrustful/hurt."

3. "The story I am making up is that you don't care about hurting me and then covering it up."

4. "I am trying to stay curious. Can you help me understand?"

Partner 2

1. "I hear that you feel disconnected and angry, and that some old stuff may be coming up for you. My intention is to stay present and not disappear again."

2. "I am feeling frustrated, longing to be seen in a positive light, angry about being confronted and somewhat fearful of sharing with you because you might tell me to go."

3. "The story I am making up is that I'm always going to be seen as unreliable and untrustworthy in your eyes, so why bother?"

4. "I am trying to stay curious. Can you help me understand?"

Partner 1

1. "I can see that you may be feeling defensive, especially given the circumstances and how I have reacted before. I am going to try to keep my body and my voice steady and here with you. I want you to stay."

2. "I am feeling disappointed and hurt that you were contemplating breaking a boundary that we agreed upon. One that is very important to my process of building trust in you."

3. "The story I am making up is that you don't care how your actions affect me if they soothe you in the moment."

4. "Can you help me understand?"

Partner 2

1."I can see that not communicating with you more openly may have triggered your old stuff/gremlin, and mine. My intention now is to get back to where we both feel safe and connected."

2. "I am feeling calmer and less defensive."

3. "I would like to talk about what happened for both of us now, and listen more, if you are also feeling open and ready."

4. "Can you help me understand where we derailed so we can do better next time?"




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