2. Don’t make decisions when you’re upset. When you’re emotional, the right hemisphere of your brain dominates so the left hemisphere, which is in charge of rational analysis and problem solving, is unable to function properly. This is why it is difficult to think logically or recall details when you are distraught. So it’s best not to make any decisions (like whether to end or continue the relationship) at a time when your right hemisphere is in charge.
3. Come up with a “cool-off” phrase. Practice what you’ll say next time you feel yourself heating up. For example, you might say “I need a moment to think about this” or “I need a glass of water” in a calm, controlled tone instead of potentially escalating the conflict by saying something like “You’re so obnoxious!” By training yourself to say your cool-off phrase you will buy yourself precious time to cool off while also deescalating potential conflict.
In any relationship, it’s important to think before you speak, act, or respond. Our words and actions carry significant weight and we have the power and ability to not only understand, but to control our outbursts. Practicing these three simple tools will allow you to overcome that overwhelming impulse to say something that may cause great hurt to your partner and your relationship.