What does a good break look like?

  1. If we agree ahead of time on a time to continue the conversation, my partner is less likely to feel abandoned.
  2. A good break needs to be at least 20-30 minutes long in order for our bodies to calm down. It probably shouldn't be more than a few hours.  
  3. As long as we keep thinking about the fight, we stay escalated. Also, our bodies can't be relaxed and flooded at the same time, so it's important to do something relaxing.  We can do this by trying a progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, prayer, reading a light-hearted book or magazine, watching a lighthearted movie or television show, or taking a nap. 
  4. When we return to the conversation, we can listen better to hear our partner and then use a gentle start-up to talk about our feelings and needs rather than attacking our partner.  

For more information, check out this article from the Gottman Institute.

Check back next Monday for thoughts on applying our "take a break challenge" with children.  

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFTljLo1bK...