We are a T.E.A.M.
Feature by Simran Bharadwaj
Image via Freepik
Do you find yourself rolling your eyes every time your partner corrects you? Maybe you feel like you’re doing everything wrong because your partner is always nagging you throughout the day. Have you asked your partner to do something so many times with no results that you just give up?
Despite being married for years, and thinking that they’re on the same page, couples often find themselves arguing over what feels like the most insignificant things. Some irritations are so minor that a partner might think not to mention it, but eventually after bottling up minor annoyances for too long, everything will come out in a fight. An argument might start with a sock that didn’t make its way into the laundry basket, and before you know it, you're yelling about never feeling supported.
There is a simple formula that could help remind you that you are a T.E.A.M.
T - Touch: hold hands and sit next to each other. As partners, you’re in this together. A simple action, such as holding hands, can remind you of that.
E - Education: You each share one thing you learned that day that was interesting. A fact. A hard truth. etc. It's a chance for novelty and endorphins when we expand our brains.
A - Appreciation: You each share one thing you appreciate about the other. Could be how beautiful your partner looks that day. If you're ticked it could be that they took out the trash. + points for creativity, can't use the same ones repeatedly
M - Metrics: Usually when you're upset, you tell them that moment. These moments add up throughout the day and your partner might feel like you are constantly nagging them. With the check-in, you can wait and write down your thoughts so that it is a discussion once during the day rather than multiple squabbles throughout the day. It means you don't fight when elevated but you always get to explain your point.
Another method of connecting with your partner, and making sure you are on the same page, is through asking these questions throughout the day.
- Do you want comfort or solutions?
- Would you like opinions or just to be heard?
- How can I best support you right now?
- Do you want to brainstorm or for me to just listen?
Although you can do both, it's not about what you "can do," it's about what you or your partner want/need right in that moment. Problems come and go, solutions matter less than just being there for each other in that moment.
Do not be afraid to ask for a "pause" to cool off and come back. Many think that taking a step away from an argument means that you’re walking away. However, conflicts do not need to be resolved right away. In the heat and anger of the moment, someone might say something they don’t mean or escalate the argument in a direction they did not intend.
Simran Bharadwaj is a pre-professional licensed mental health therapist in New York City. You can contact Simran at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more blog posts at www.mwr.nyc.
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