Dealing With Triggers:
Both parties agree to record any conversations for personal support. Recordings may only be shared with both partners in the room or our therapist, guide, coach.
When someone gets triggered, say “Ouch” all parties agree to stop talking, person who is hurt is to share feelings/emotions using “I “ statements, It is mandatory to use Active Listening at this time. Time Outs are Optional.
Use “I” Statements with words of feeling.
“I” statements mean to speak with vulnerability. Share your emotional pain in the present or what is getting triggered from the past. Open yourself up and share. This sends the message to your partner you are not going to attack or criticize them. Go belly up!
when you ___________ I feel or felt……………..
Stay in this for as long as it takes.
And what I want/need is……………………….
The goal of active listening is to create a safe place to be heard, felt and seen by your partner. This is not the place to judge, analyze or try to fix your partner. It is a safe place to be heard and felt. By repeating back what you hear, your partner becomes validated for their experience and feels safe.
Remember these are your partners feelings and may not reflect your memory or position on any given subject. In fact they are most assuredly different. Just hear them. To truly listen learn to forget yourself.
Use short sound bites so the listener can retain the experience and feedback
When they say “I” you repeat back “You”
Repeat the main points and feelings of your partner
Really listen trying to forget yourself and hear your partner
Try and hear from THEIR perspective of feeling, this is where empathy really helps
When you think they are done, Ask, “Is there anything more?”
Keep Listening let them get it out
Next it is your turn, repeat the process
It is the communicators responsibility to be heard !
DURING ACTIVE LISTENING:
Be aware of body language:
Breath, with he feeling “are you done yet, or “oh come on.”
Gestures that deflect or antagonize
Listen with openness and presence
When either partner gets overwhelmed or shut down during conflict, ask for time out, to take space: These behaviors are likely to crate the need for a time out:
Goes silent or numb
Do not use a Time Out to try and understand from a logical standpoint why this all happened. Do not use a Time Out to get rid of the experience, “get centered”, or no longer feel triggered. Use a Time Out to move energy, there are multiple ways to do this. The conflict happened to give your feelings expression and to expose your needs so they have the possibility of being met. This will allow you become more whole within yourself. After the time out share your feelings and what you are going through.
THE PRIMARY GOALS OF A TIME OUT ARE TO:
Stop conflict from escalating
Move emotional energy by blowing off steam, hit pillow, scream into pillow, throw tantrum, lay on bed flail body, shower, lay on earth. By doing this you can come back to some level of rational behavior.
Time Outs and Time:
The partner taking space needs to state amount of time to be alone, and agrees to return at that time.
If they are still not ready to check in with partner before due time and ask for more.
Time past 1 hour is questionable (no leaving the property), Take space in home or on property.
The idea is to blow off excessive emotional energy so you do not say or do something you regret. Stay in the energy of the conflict reconvene with your partner and use communication tools to move through it.
Never go to bed with unresolved hurts. If it gets to late set a time to meet and resolve the next day. Make sure you keep that agreement.
JUST AS IMPORTANT IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION IS THE BUILDING OF TRUST AND LOVE, THE FOUNDATION OF A GREAT RELATIONSHIP IS BUILT COMMUNICATION AND CONNECTION:
Evening Review, aka Heart Space Talks
Practice equally giving and receiving, they cannot be done at the same time.
Tools like these are important to get a couple on more aligned. The idea is not to spend your life in process but to integrate these behaviors into you and your relationship, this takes time.