Why You Should Never Fight When You're Furious

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When your blood is boiling, hormones can interfere with your ability to think clearly.

You've been playing that conversation with him over and over in your mind — defending yourself, trying to figure out what to do next. You are losing sleep, it makes your heart pound, it's hard to focus on work during the day. So, you finally see him, you are furious, and now you are dying to tell him what you really think of what he said or did. Well, stop! This is the wrong time to communicate.

Let's look at what is going on in your body first. As your frustration and anger build, your heart rate becomes irregular and your body pumps excess cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenalin into your system, giving you the energy to take an action. However, at the same time, that energy to react is diverted from the energy to think! The cortical thinking brain actually gets less blood flow than when you are in a positive mood. So, now your ability to listen and comprehend has been diminished, and both are essential tools for communication!

What should you do instead?

Take just a moment (seconds, really!) to find something to be grateful about — your life, your breath, and maybe even your partner. You can briefly visualize a chord of light physically connecting your heart with his — even if your brains can't connect just yet! (This might sounds a bit corny, but try it and let me know what happens!) Now, what is happening in your body?

Your heart rate relaxes and falls in a coherent rhythm. Your body produces oxytocin (the nurturing hormone) and DHEA (the youth hormone!) and now the blood is flowing to that thinking brain. Now you can really talk about what's on your mind and even listen to the feelings behind his words. Even if he is angry, you can stay calm. You will see the big picture and help yourself stay clear-headed to say the right things and make the right decisions for the long run.

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