Communicating is Hard
When Abigail and I were first married I had a bad habit (among many)- when I was mad I became a volcano ready to explode. I would suck in my anger telling my young bride nothing was wrong. I forced her to prod me and with every prod the eruption would closer to the surface until finally molten lava would spew forth from my mouth leaving destruction in my path.
At some time or other we all hit that moment that we want to explode. The question becomes not if but when are we going to unleash the molten lava. Some people will run from the conflict, sucking the anger deeper and deeper. In the process they separate themselves from their significant other, building a wall of unshared emotions.
The 3 P’s
I have found three P’s very beneficial to solving the communication issues confronting couples. The 3 P’s allow for the spewer to communicate without spewing, and the runner to stop running and feel safe sharing what is on their mind. They Pray, Process, and Plan.
For some people prayer is a foreign concept, but hear my out. One of the keys to prayer is cooling off even if you are someone who does not believe in God taking a moment to gather your thoughts and calm down is healthy. If you are spewer it allows the lava to settle down if you are a runner it allows to evaluate why you are running. If you believe in a God who hears you going to Him first allows you to share some of your frustrations without hurting your relationship. Taking a moment to pray can change the entire course of you conversation for the better.
Processing can start during prayer. I find the following questions beneficial:
- What happened that caused me to get so angry?
- Am I truly angry at my significant other or is something else upsetting me?
- Would I want my significant other to yell at me in order to feel better?
- Would I want my significant other to push down a real issue in an effort to not make waves?
- Is this an ongoing issue or or something that has not happened very often?
There are more questions you can ask, but hopefully this is helping you get the idea. Processing lets you get to the deeper reason you are upset. Often you will find your reason for being upset has nothing to do with your significant other.
There are times I have come from a hard day at work and I am just in a bad mood. It doesn’t matter what Ab would say to me I will take it wrong. Sometimes I just need something to eat.
Thinking through what you want to say to a person is key before you approach them. It allows you to think through what your feeling, when the person has done well in this area, and the issue. What are you going to say? and is what your going to say being said in love or anger? Planning gets you to a good place emotionally to explain why your are feeling what you are feeling.
Give Your Significant Other Time To Do The 3 P’s
Giving your significant other time to process is vital. If they are spewer they can calm down, if they are a runner they will feel safe processing the information you shared.
The 3 P’s have revolutionized our communication and I thoroughly believe it will help yours as well. Drop us a comment to tell us how it is working for you and to share other things that worked for you as well.