Walk Away From That Argument!
Hey everyone! I’m Jenny Hale and this is my truth bomb series. Today I’d like to have a look at the piece of advice “don’t walk away from an argument”.
Now, I’ve worked with a lot of people over a lot of years and a number one complaint that people come with is “they just walk off … they just … we’re in the middle of something, it’s important, and then … off they go, and that’s it!”
Now obviously if that happens, if you have a genuine conflict going on with your partner and you just walk off and never discuss the topic again, yes, that’s a problem. It’s probably not the way to do things.
However, if you make it a rule that whenever there’s any kind of conflict between you and your partner, neither of you can leave the conversation until it’s resolved that is also a problem.
We need to understand how human beings function and especially when we’re in a situation of conflict. There are different types of people, based on the personality and childhood experiences.
Fear and Trauma
If you’ve had a difficult childhood, if you’ve had one or both parents who couldn’t meet your emotional needs or just wasn’t there, then there could be situations in conflict, in difficult arguments and discussions, where you feel a lot of fear.
The fear can be so strong that it actually causes people to shut down. It causes their brain to stop working. They can’t even think. Now if you’re one of these people, if this is happening to you in a discussion with your partner, it’s very important that you take some space from the discussion.
You can’t have a meaningful discussion when you just shut down like a deer in headlights and your brain is not working. Whatever comes out of your mouth is not going to be very kind or productive (if you manage to get anything out of your mouth at all). And if you don’t, that’ll probably upset your partner even more.
So when people are very, very much in fear and shutting down they need to leave the conversation. They need to walk away from the conversation.
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Anger and Abuse
Also, if someone’s extremely angry and they can’t restrain themselves from saying and doing violent things, they can’t restrain themselves from accusing, blaming, name-calling, swearing, breaking things, at that point you are a danger to your partner. At that point, when you’ve reached that level, you need to walk away.
The number one thing that you need to do is prevent any abuse from happening in your relationship. Like it or not, if you get so angry you can’t control yourself and you’re swearing and breaking things and calling your partner names that is abuse. I know you don’t mean to do it, you feel like you can’t control it, but what you can control is whether or not you’re in the room with them.
So before you get to that point, or the moment you realize you’re heading for that point, you have to leave the room.
So there’s several circumstances where it’s imperative that one or both people leave the room.
Coming Back Together
Now I’m not saying that you then never come back to that discussion or you never resolve it – obviously that’s also very harmful. You do need to come back together and you do need to finish the conversation but you both need to be capable of finishing the conversation.
You need to take a break for however long you need to calm down to calm down from the fear, or to calm down from the anger. Maybe you need to go and do something with your muscles to burn off some of the adrenaline or maybe you need to play some music, or listen to some music, or do something to change your state.
Figure out what it is that you need to do, do it for as long as you need to do it, and then come back together again when you’re both calm, and continue the conversation in a productive and constructive way.