Like Stacy. “It was like there was liquid anger in my veins,” she said. “I was so mad.”
Her boyfriend canceled their anniversary dinner because he thought the timing was “inconvenient” for his work schedule. She can remember what it felt like to this day.
Thankfully, she wasn’t able to confront her guy about it right away. It was a weekday and both were at work. She had to wait hours before she had a chance to talk to him.
During that time, she calmed down. That allowed her to think clearly about the best approach for the long-term health of the relationship.
Was she still upset? You betcha. But the intensity of her emotions leveled out. Instead of speaking from raw emotion, she was able to effectively communicate why his decision hurt her. And he seemed remorseful instead of defensive.
If she’d talked to him while she was still in the throes of intense emotion, their conversation wouldn’t have been nearly as productive.
Now, back to the last time YOU were upset. How long did it take for the feelings of frustration to fade a bit? Were you livid for only a few minutes, or were you ready to start World War III?
However long it takes you to cool off, going toe-to-toe with your guy (or anyone else) while you’re fuming is never a good idea.
There’s definitely a time and place for strong emotions. It’s appropriate to tell him you’re upset and why. But you want that conversation to move you forward as a couple, not just start a fight.
So when he does something upsetting, it is imperative that you tame those wild emotions BEFORE you try to talk to him.
Luckily, you have what author Karl Albrecht calls a “magic reset button” that can put you in a calmer frame of mind immediately.[i]
But before you can use your magic reset button you have to “install” it. Here’s how.