When you notice any of the following creeping into your discussion, slow down. You probably need a time-out to gain clarity and composure to continue the conversation.
- Name calling
- Attacking ‘you statements’
- Finger pointing/ blaming
- Overgeneralizing (‘you always…’, ‘you never…’, ‘every time I…’, ‘nobody around here…’)
- Afraid of your partner’s intensity
- Loud voices
- Red face
- Clenched fists
- Breathing fast
- Feel like screaming or throwing something
- Feel emotionally closed off
- Any form of physical threat
ASK FOR A TIME-OUT.
Use a non verbal signal. (some examples: – look at watch with a wink, timeout hand signal)
Say it verbally.
–>“I know we need to talk about this, but I’m too [mad] right now. I need time to think.”
–>“We’re beginning to get upset, and I need to take a time-out.” (The words “We’re getting upset” has the advantage of being nonblaming and suggests that the time-out is for the good of both.)