Do you find you and your spouses fight often get quiet heated?
Which sometimes result in you shouting at your spouse?
And making things only worse?
In order to avoid falling into the trap of yelling at your spouse during an argument, you first need to understand one thing about arguments themselves. One of the things that cause arguments to escalate beyond where they should… is our inability to control our emotions during those arguments.
Arguments naturally arouse our emotions. And when we don’t know how to control those emotions, this is what can lead to arguments that ultimately result in yelling at the other person.
And not only do shouting matches not resolve the core issues at hand (ie what you both were arguing about)… but such arguments only degrade your relationship further. A lose-lose scenario.
So what can I do?
A very useful relationship program that came out a few years ago was called “Tapping Great Intimacy: Rewire Your Brain For Great Relationships” by Dawson Church P.H.D. I highly recommend you have a look at it if you want to know how to stop fighting in a relationship or marriage. This is because it’s not based on the usual superficial “feel-good” advice you’ll find out there… but rather is based on sound behavioral and psychological science.
In one section of it, he reveals a secret on how to kill shouting matches before they even begin… by killing the emotions that cause those shouting matches in the first place.
So what’s the secret?
What you need to do is… relax your tongue. Let your tongue rest motionless on the bottom of your mouth. That’s it! Now, with your tongue lying motionless – try and get angry. Think about the last fight you yelled at your spouse. Try and get mad (but keep your tongue loose on the floor of your mouth).
You’ll find very quickly that it’s very difficult to feel the same angry emotions towards your spouse as you had when you were fighting with them.
Why does this work?
You see, you can’t get angry with your tongue on the floor of your mouth. Your tongue acts like an unconscious signal to your subconscious about your current environment and how it is making you feel.
- A Relaxed Tongue: When you are feeling safe, well and happy… your tongue naturally becomes relaxed and sits on the floor of your mouth. This in turn, over the course of your life to date, has set up an anchor in your mind that a relaxed tongue signifies that all is well.
- A Stiffened Tongue: When you are feeling apprehensive or angry about something, your tongue naturally becomes stiff and rises in your mouth. This in turn, over the course of your life to date, has set up an anchor in your mind that a stiffened, pensive tongue signifies that all is not well.
In this exercise, when you relaxed your tongue on the floor of your mouth, what you were doing (without realizing it) was sending a signal to your nervous system (which in turn informed your subconscious) that all was well.
You were programming yourself that you weren’t mad… even though at that moment in time you were thinking about an argument with your partner. In effect, you created a bypass of the stressful emotions that you had normally associated with thinking of arguments with your partner.
This “bypass” allowed you to program your mind that you were safe, there was no need for a “flight or fight” decision… and that all was well.
Why is this important?
Very simple. As I went through at the beginning of this article, one of the overriding things that cause arguments to escalate out of control… is our inability to control our emotions during those arguments.
What this technique does, is it allows you to control those emotions at that specific moment in time. And when you can control your emotions during an argument like this… it opens the way for you to discuss the problems you’re arguing with your spouse about… in a far more controlled manner.
Yelling at your spouse solves nothing… and only makes things worse.
When you can approach arguments like this, your partner in turn is much less likely to become emotional because they can see that you are not becoming emotional. You set up for them the same “safe and well environment” that you were trying to create for yourself using the tongue relaxing exercise. A win-win scenario. And one that facilitates your arguments to be handled in a constructive resolutory manner.