Arguing and fighting with people we love totally sucks. But it’s going to happen, and it helps to understand it. In the previous posts, we learned what the energy of a fight looks like and how to open our heart during a fight.
Sometimes, we recognize we’re in a hopeless disagreement so we do the hard work and open our tender little hearts, yet this isn’t enough to make progress or to shift the energy. So then what? Conscious disengagement, that’s what.
Step 1: Fight ensues.
Step 2: Recognize the energy as a back and forth that isn’t stopping.
Step 3: Choose to consciously open your heart.
Step 4: Consciously disengage from the argument by asking to table it until you and your loved one are heart connected again.
Step 5: Get heart connected to yourself and your loved one.
Step 6: Resume dialogue in a connected, loving manner.
Here’s an example:
Let’s rewind to my own nasty fight with the ex-boyfriend. He had just told me that I reminded him of his mom remember? The mom who was a diagnosed schizophrenic who drove him absolutely mad. Not a compliment. So, after throwing barbs back and forth, I consciously opened my heart. He stayed locked in the grasp for power. He didn’t soften, and he wasn’t being careful with my open heart. If we weren’t both in our hearts, it was impossible for us to connect to each other’s. Plus, with my heart open and his not, I risked becoming a doormat for his emotions. No thanks!
Finally, I calmly said, “We should stop the conversation.”
“Why?” he asked, “We’re not done.”
“I know,” I said. “I’m not saying that I don’t want to finish talking about this issue at some point. I do. But right now, we’re not getting anywhere with it because we’re not heart connected. Why don’t we wait until we feel connected again and then continue the conversation?”
And that’s what we did. We stopped arguing and decided on something that could allow us to just reconnect. For us, that was taking some time for ourselves first and then reconnecting over a nice dinner where we could simply enjoy the food. We talked about the meal, the day, the weather. We talked to reconnect, NOT to solve the issue at hand.
We’ve stopped the argument, now what do we do?
Once you make the decision to table the argument, decide what you both feel comfortable with in order to reconnect. Maybe that’s going to a movie or cooking together, taking a walk or spending a little time apart before you go for a bike ride. Maybe it’s simply staring into each other’s eyes for four minutes (a scientifically proven way to build intimacy!). Whatever it is, choose something that lets you simply be in each other’s presence without having to talk about or decide something.
When you both feel centered in your hearts, then you’re ready to finish your argument, but instead of it feeling like a venomous game of cutthroat ping-pong, it’ll feel more like a loving conversation. More like adults having a discussion rather than children playing a competitive game. You’ll be more capable of feeling the truth of where your partner is and holding the space of his/her wounds rather than adding yours to the mix. You can have compassion and empathy, which can lead to understanding.
Knowing how to be conscious in an argument allows you to unclench your fists and let love flow in. Not only are you more able to understand where your loved one is coming from and to feel more love for him/her, but you’re far more capable of being understood and allowing the love back in.