Quite often here at Life Solutions we see couples argue a lot. Many of these arguments are simply because how they are arguing. Sometimes it boils down to logic versus emotion. Emotions can be hard to manage during conflict and can be hard to listen to. This is the time when great listening is most important. Logic, facts, can be checked for validity. Logic can be flawed; facts can be wrong. Emotions aren’t right or wrong, they are what they are. Emotions can be and need to be validated. During conflict it’s really important to have an understanding of the other person’s emotions and to convey that understanding. Keep in mind understanding does not equal agreement. You can say “It makes sense you feel that way” even though you may not necessarily feel the same way. Validation simply tells the person “It’s ok to feel what you’re feeling”. It sends the message to your partner “You matter”.
When we communicate with logic and the other person is responding with emotion (or vice versa) it’s like oil and water, they don’t mix, and conflict ensues. Imagine trying to plan a vacation and your partner says “Remember our trip to Aruba. It was so romantic and fun. Let’s do something like that again.” That’s emotional so if your response is “Flights to Aruba are really expensive this time of year” that is logical. The response could be “Oh yeah I really liked our trip to Aruba too” then you are on the same wavelength and can then introduce logic to the conversation with the likelihood it will be received.
Keep conversations on the same wavelengths and you will improve your communication.