WHAT DO YOU DO when you're arguing with
your mate and you reach a stalemate? You know what I'm talking
about, don't you? What do you do when you are so mad at each
other that you can't think straight, and everything you say gets
twisted around and she doesn't pay attention to anything you
say and you are too mad to listen to her? What do you do? Go
into the other room and fume? Keep fighting away, getting louder
and louder? Force yourself to apologize?
You're bound to reach an impasse in an
argument once in awhile. When you do, stop talking. Your
chances of working anything out when you are both upset is very
close to zero. Don't waste your time. Don't risk saying or doing
anything more you'll regret. Go off by yourself and do the following:
Do something that will calm you down
physically. First distract your
mind. Get your mind off the situation. Watch a movie, read an
engaging book, surf the internet, play a game. The second stage,
once you've gotten yourself out of the soup long enough to think
straight, is to deeply relax: Meditate. Soak in a hot tub. Take
a hot shower. Listen to relaxing music. Get as deeply relaxed
as you can.
Do not decide anything. Draw no conclusions. The more upset you are, the
more distorted your point of view will be. So any decisions you
make are more likely to be bad ones than good ones. People just
aren't as rational and don't think as clearly when they are upset.
It's not just you, it's all of us. So don't make any decisions
or come to any conclusions when you are mad.
THEN think. Think
about what you were arguing about. If you get upset again, calm
down again before you try to think. When you're done thinking,
consider talking to your mate about it. Sometimes there will
be nothing to talk about because the fight was really about nothing
important. You just took something wrong (or she did) and it
created a kind of reverberating feedback loop that escalated
into an impasse.
When a microphone gets too close to its
speaker, it creates a feedback signal that gets louder and louder.
All you have to do is move the microphone away from the speaker.
You don't need to fix anything. Nothing is wrong. All that happened
was a feedback loop got started and you have to separate the
two. Sometimes that is true of you and your mate. You'll figure
that out once you can calm down and think about it.
But if there is something you two need
to talk about, think about how you will approach the subject.
When you've got it worked out, then go find your mate
and talk about it. This is the sanest way to bypass an impasse.