My husband is a great role model for me in the area of de-stressing before trying to resolve an issue. I confess that it took me a long time to appreciate this quality in him because I tend to want to reach resolutions now. But some things really do take time to work through, and it’s always wise to strive to make decisions when calm, rather than stressed.
Here’s a very simple example. One day, we were preparing to look at cars for our handicapped son, and there was an issue I felt needed to be resolved before purchasing one. We were discussing options and I was beginning to get a little stressed, so Tom wisely said, “Let’s see if we’re going to get a car first, and then we can discuss this.” In the past, I would have viewed him as shutting me down and I would have been offended. But this time I recognized what he was doing: namely, giving me time to de-stress. The other positive thing Tom did was let me know that he was open to further discussions–just not at that moment. As long as I know we’ll come back to it at some point, I’m willing to wait. It’s just the fear of not resolving issues that tempts me to be “pushy” about reaching a resolution immediately.
In retrospect, when Tom suggested we drop the subject for the moment, I could simply have said something like, “OK, but can we agree to hold off on purchasing a car until we’ve resolved this issue?” If I had the assurance that we wouldn’t move forward on a decision until we had resolved our differences, I would be very willing to post-pone the discussion at hand.
As it turned out, we did not buy a car that day, and I was later able to write out my thoughts and present them to Tom for his consideration. We then had a calm discussion and came to an agreement.
Mutual respect and calm decision-making produces good results.
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