Have you ever been stuck in a rut with your spouse or significant other? I mean the communication was way off! You say something, they respond and here comes another argument. Well, my friend, you were probably experiencing a degenerative communication spiral. These spirals take place as, “the actions of each person in a relationship magnify those of the other” (Stewart, 2012). In other words, our actions, whether positive or negative, tend to produce more of it’s kind.
If you and your spouse always seem to go down the rabbit’s hole of name calling and negative jabs, you must alter your normal response and do what does not come naturally (Stewart, 2012). So, even if they start, it doesn’t mean you have to finish. You can make a conscious effort to stop the foolery and say in your head, “You know what, I’m not engaging”. Often times, “doing more of the same” does not work so let’s try doing “less of the same” (Stewart, 2012).
You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. So, after a heated argument, if leaving the house the next morning without saying good-bye is your norm, (which only makes it harder to greet once you come home in the evening) I want you to take the initiative to break the silence. As you are leaving for the day I want you to make a conscious effort to speak well wishes over your spouse, by being polite. Tell them good-bye and have a nice day (without being sarcastic of course)!
If this has been out of your norm, it will, 1) surprise the heck out of your spouse, lol! 2) show your spouse that perhaps you have had a change of heart, 3) invite them to drop the issue without feeling like they had to initiate.
Just try it. You may have to do it a few times but hang in there, it works!
Until Next Time!
Stewart, J. (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication (11th ed.). Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill.