Did you know that the first 3 minutes of a disagreement determines how that conversation will end? It’s true, 96% of the time it’s what takes place in those minutes that will dictate whether resolution is found, or conflict is started.
Think about it; with 55% of communication being your body language, 38% of it being your tone, and only 7% of it your words, that gives you a lot of likely unused potential to have more healthy communication.
It is clear that the “how” of your argument is more powerful than the “what” of it. So, any of that “right fighting” you may have been doing, isn’t your friend if resolution is your goal. Which btw, if you find yourself falling into the trap of right fighting, you need to check out Episode 59 of the podcast, The Problem with Right Fighting.
With all that being said, let’s make this practical. If getting to resolution is your desired outcome, here are some ways to help you achieve that goal, especially if you incorporate them within that 3-minute time zone.
How to set up a disagreement for success:
- Watch your body language. Relax your arms, face forward, don’t roll those eyes around, and make eye contact.
- Control your tone. Speak to one another as if someone you greatly respect was listening to this interaction. As Christians, this is always how we should respond because we do have someone very important always watching us.
- Don’t interrupt. That includes not interrupting with body language and tone too. Huffing and puffing, turning away, picking up your phone, or walking away to give your attention elsewhere. These will all indicate that you don’t care how your spouse feels.
- Lean in and listen. If you start these 3-minutes well, there will be time to share your side and your thoughts too. No need to rush to get your point across first.
- Stick to the topic at hand. Don’t get derailed into what’s happened before or how things used to be, or what your spouse has done in the past.
Your goal in your marriage shouldn’t be just to prove your points or have your side of the story heard, it should be about trying to achieve a win for both of you. You’re going to be different, you’re going to have different thoughts, ideas, and opinions, and that’s entirely okay, its actually good. Two whole individuals will always make the healthiest of marriages.
If you’ve been struggling with communication in your marriage or just feel disconnected from your spouse, be sure to check out the Restoring Connection Plan, a 4 week strategy to enjoying deeper and richer connection in your marriage. Find out more below.