Diffusing a Potentially Dangerous Conversation

Have you ever had one of those conversations with your spouse when you found yourself a few steps ahead. As you pondered where this conversation could go, you quickly “tapped on the brakes” to avoid a heavier and potentially more dangerous conversation.

We’ve all been there.

Maybe you didn’t mean to be short with your spouse. She may have had a bad day or he could have just had an office confrontation. Maybe you forgot that it’s a special day!

And off we go, down the dangerous conversation cliff!

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You see, conversations can be like time bombs. You’re racing against the clock. Your spouse is about ready to lose it because “you’re not hearing me” or “you’re being an insensitive and inconsiderate jerk!” And like a member of the bomb squad, you’re faced with the question, “Should I cut the blue wire or the red one?”

Tick. Tick. Tick.

A potentially dangerous conversation can be diffused in by exercising two attributes. So the next time you hear the ticking, time bomb of your potentially dangerous conversation, try exercising these: patience and playfulness.

Patience

Have you ever been there? You’re listening to your spouse and you have a retort to her points or a response to her frustrations or maybe even a solution to her problems. Can I give you some good advice?

Stop! Listen. Then listen some more.

You won’t believe how many conversations went from good to bad to worse to a World War simply because someone couldn’t exercise a little patience. You don’t have to say (at least right away) what comes to your mind. Besides, I’ve learned (unfortunately through experience) that my eagerness to speak fuels the fires of frustration. Have patience.

Also, in regards to patience, sometimes we just need to cut our spouse some slack. After all, they’re not perfect. And trust me, there’s going to come a day when you’ll expect your spouse to be patient with you. So be patient with him/her.

Playfulness

Can I just be honest? Sometimes some arguments are just plain silly! Sometimes it’s good to just get it out of our system, listen to ourselves talk, then realize how big of a mountain we are making this molehill. And when that realization hits us, it’s play to laugh. Really!

Be careful about this point, however. Comedic timing is a must when inserting humor in a potentially dangerous conversation. But I’ve found that sometimes, laughing at the situation helps calm everyone, which gives us a better state of mind to sold the problem.

I’m guessing that sometime this week, you’ll have a potentially dangerous conversation. Diffuse it properly. Don’t let it blow up in your face. A proper spirit will enable you to “cut the right wire” and save your marriage from unnecessary shrapnel.

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