My husband and I usually work through a disagreement before going to sleep, but after a stressful day of travel recently, we were too tired, and the excitement of having a family weekend at Lake Tahoe masked the tension until the next morning. We woke up early and had began airing our grievances when our son knocked gently on the bedroom door to ask if we could keep our voices to a whisper. His request turned out to be a valuable lesson.
The curious thing about whispering is you can’t escalate your voice tone or volume. Whispering paints words with grey monotone. It functions like an emotional clamp. No matter how angry you feel you can’t squeeze the red out of rage!
We reached the other side of our disagreement in record time, and saw the absurdity of the situation. We laughed, muffling our mouths so as not to make too much noise.
By keeping the heat out of our words we had pushed through the content without the usual side trips down emotional lanes of reaction. It was a revelation;
whatever can sidestep normal posturing is a good way to clear the air.
What tricks have you learned for how to diffuse an argument?