Why can’t we be nicer to each other? And why is it so easy to jump into an argument?
Maybe it’s just the timing. Maybe everybody’s tired and short-tempered from the long winter. But I’ve been having a lot of conversations with clients lately about conflict – okay, arguments – with their partners.
It seems like we all have good intentions, or at least we like to think we do, but then somebody says something that pushes a button. And we’re off to the races. And let’s face it. It’s not easy living with a chronic condition. And it’s not always easy living with someone who has a chronic condition. The challenges can leave everybody feeling on edge at times. Things build up. And boom!
I am probably dating myself but when I am listening to how an argument got started – or sometimes witness an argument when I meeting with a couple – I am often reminded of a scene from that old, old TV show, “The Three Stooges.” (By the way, it was an old show when I was a child, too.) One of them would say the word “Niagara Falls,” and another one would start reciting “Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch…” as a bad memory was triggered.
It was hilarious. But not so funny when I see something similar being played out with two people who care about each other but don’t always act like it.
What’s sad to me, and often to the two people involved, is that things just get out of control. The horse is out of the barn, and nobody knows how to bring it back. Tempers flare, hurtful words get spoken. It might even feel good to get it all out, at least for the moment. But afterwards, the damage has been done.
I recently wrote an article about “fuzzy bunnies” that seems especially appropriate at Easter time. The idea is kind of a variation of the Three Stooges and Niagara. You’ve already got the words that get the conflict underway. So what about a couple of words to stop the argument while it’s underway, maybe even before it gets underway?
Here’s a link:
You might want to check it out and give it a try at your house. Bunny rabbits aren’t only our friends on Easter!
But here’s the bigger idea. What if we all made it a point to welcome the spring with a new attitude? More patience. More compassion. And the decision to do at least one daily act of kindness for the people you care about.
What do you think? Are you in? Any ideas to share about halting those tense moments at your house?
I’m all ears (not quite as big as a bunny rabbit’s)!
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