We are working on reducing the "4 Horsemen" from our relationships.
- In January we worked on identifying when we notice criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling in our relationships.
- In February we practiced the antidote to contempt: creating a culture of appreciation.
- In March we practiced the antidote to criticism: complaining without blaming.
- In April we practiced the antidote to defensiveness: taking responsibility for our part of the problem.
- This month, we are practicing the antidote to stonewalling: taking a break to calm down before discussing a problem.
The challenge has two parts:
- First, when we are calm we need to make an agreement with our partners that it is okay to take a break when we are feeling overwhelmed.
- Then when we feel overwhelmed or "flooded", we need to realize it and ask for a break.
Come back next Monday for more thoughts on why we should take a break when we notice that one or both of us are stonewalling.