How to Stay Focused After an Argument

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I’ve recently discovered that I am a chronic word-vomiter. 

This realization occurred to me after I had an argument with my husband. Now, this was not an earth-shattering World War 111 fighting by any means. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was over a light being left on in the bathroom. 


Immediately after this fairly mediocre “conversation”, I wanted to call my Mom, my sister, my best friends…really anyone who was willing to listen to me, to tell them how ridiculous this was. Even though it was a tiny thing, I was frantically calling everyone to just have someone to tell. 

Now, I don’t know how good I am at dealing with analyzing my own bizarre behavior, but I am convinced that I do this not out of seeking support, but to simply get an opinion on if I was being completely ridiculous or if I had a good reason to argue. 

I’ve realized I’ve taught myself how to do this word-vomit instead of listening to my own intuition. Not only have I learned that, but I have also taken on this obsession with it. It’s like it is the only thing in my brain until I can vent about it to at least a couple of my closest friends. 

There are some pretty basic problems with this pattern. First, what happens between my husband and I needs to be sacred. There is nothing wrong with venting or talking about a situation, but it is not appropriate to be a word-vomiter every time someone forgets to switch off a light. 

Second, it is not okay to completely disregard my own intuition. I may not have all the answers, but I am certainly competent enough to process a situation as trivial as a passionate “conversation”. 

And lastly, something like this should NOT encompass every thought I have until there is resolution. It is so extremely important to be able to handle conflict without dropping everything that is in your hands until that problem is fixed.

Regardless of this argument or problem is with my husband or my best friend, I have found that I have the same reaction. I have to try and talk to someone else about it, and I have to have resolution. Otherwise I am a mess until one or both of those things happen.

I have found a solution to this pattern of behavior. Hopefully these small steps will lead to innate habits, and hopefully they offer you the same peace they have given me.

1. Wait 24 hours. This is a great time to lay that overly active imagination to rest and to calm down. Just because you had a fight with your best friend, does not mean they are trying to steal your boyfriend. Just because you fought with your partner, it does not mean the relationship is over. Realize that your thoughts are going directly to the dump, and in my whole life the worst-case-scenarios I have fabricated have NEVER happened. 

2. Trust your brain. I have this problem where my word-vomiting is my way of resolution. But this is the wrong way to handle it. Know that you are smart enough to handle it and that it can be dealt with at a later time, with you and the other person(s) involved.

3. Realize that this may not be a problem to be solved, rather a tension to be managed. Realizing that sometimes there is not a clear cut solution allowed me to be strategic in how I handled problems, and how I handled the outcome (or lack thereof). 

4. Have peace. We must be able to channel peace in our lives regardless of what else is going on. In a lot of situations, feelings just happen, but understand that you can choose to feel ANYTHING. You always have that choice.

Needless to say, my husband is really pleased with these four steps. Our relationship is valued with more respect, and when there is more respect in a relationship your intimacy can only grow.

If you have no idea if you fit in this cycle, if you want to find out where you fit in it, or if you want help in figuring out how to better handle this, join us for our workshop the first weekend of August “Who Are You?“. 

Also, no one really cares for word-vomiters. 

Do you have any tricks for handling this kind of a problem? Comments are open and can be anonymous, and I would love to hear your questions, comments, or concerns. 

-Ariel


Why “UNhappiness” is Healthy

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Anger. Sadness. Depression. These are “bad”. Or, at least that is what we have all been told from the moment we came out of the womb (and probably before that, too).  

My curiosity percolated as I was doing some research in the area of medicine and how it has helped emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, etc. I have acute anxiety disorder, and I wanted to see what I could do holistically to aide it. What I found was mind boggling….


“Most respondents—78 percent—received medication for their depression or anxiety, reflecting the tremendous growth of the use of antidepressant drugs in the past 15 years. According to IMS Health, a group that monitors drug sales, U.S. doctors prescribed $9.9 billion worth of antidepressants in 2009, a 3 percent growth over the previous year. They’re the third most prescribed class of drugs in the country, after cholesterol-lowering drugs and codeine-based painkillers, thanks at least in part to years of aggressive marketing.” Excerpt from “Depression & Anxiety” 

There is an exorbitant amount of time and money invested in happiness. From the pharmaceutical companies funding the research for this medication, to your best friends life goal to “just be happy” it is apparent that everyone is in the business of happiness. 

So what is this doing to the business of UNhappiness? Well, it pretty much locks its doors and expects a loss. We don’t know what to do with it, so we make it “bad” and prescribe some type of medicine to make it better. But, didn’t we evolve “bad” emotions because it was healthy for us? Aren’t they necessary, even if it is simply for biological reasons? 
 
Personally, I believe that these “bad” emotions are necessary for MUCH more than just biological reasons. Luckily, this hypothesis has been tested by professionals and new studies suggest that 
Experiencing happiness alongside sadness in psychotherapy may be a harbinger of improvement is psychological well-being.” To get more facts on the variables involved in this study, you can find them by clicking HERE

Having a bad day? GREAT! I am absolutely an advocate for positive thinking, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have feelings opposite of that. One of Passion Provokers main teachings is how to manage ALL feelings, not to just give you a pill and some cupcake advice to get you to your next appointment.

Want more? Join us for our upcoming workshop “Who Are You?” OR set up your FREE 45-minute consultation so you can process the “bad” to allow yourself the best good you’ve gotten yet. 

-Ariel

My Wife’s Success (re: @racheldheldevans)

by Jami Keller

On Twitter today, Rachel Held Evans  threw out a tweet that got my attention. She made the comment that she wondered how men felt about their wive’s/partner’s success. This struck me as a little absurd that there is even a question about the fact that men are excited about, and value, their wive’s accomplishments out in the work force. To this point, I am putting it out there to all of the internet world that I think it is awesome that Marla has excelled exponentially despite having to face sexism in our field over the last 25 years. And she has surpassed my performance in that same field. I measure that success and quality of her performance in terms of written work and leadership of teams of people. I am not discounting my own achievements, but just being honest about a woman’s success in the same field. And to be fully disclosed, we work together, sometimes spending as few as ten hours a week apart. So I share her success more than the average husband.

Working so closely together gives you plenty of time to sharpen each other’s skills, and part of the process is being honest about who does what better. The fact is, Marla’s brain is far better than mine at many detailed tasks. This is despite having our brains mapped and having nearly identical personality profiles (see the Workshops Page for our “Who Are You?”  workshop July 27). 

Marla’s ability to adapt is much stronger than my own. This has its merits, including much stronger performance of surprise tasks and work load. It also has its’ cost. Adaption costs energy; much more energy than performing in your dominant personality. Think about having to use your non-dominant hand. For me, using my left hand would completely eliminate doing some tasks. But even more important than Marla’s more efficient brain (any neuroscientist will tell you that women’s brains are far superior to mens) is that Marla has surpassed me as a women in a very male dominated field, and that sexism has been reinforced by most of the women involved. 

Part jealousy, part tradition, this sexism has limited her opportunity for advancement according to her performance. She is not upset about this, even though it vexes me to no end. And her cool approach to these kind of challenges (there have been many tears as well because, let’s face it, people can be really mean when they are guarding their “standards”) has actually led us to better opportunities regardless of the glass ceiling. 

So I am very proud of my wife who is a tiny bit smarter than me because she is cognitively more flexible. Her success can only help us as a family and community. Maybe seeing the sexism has helped me recognize my own, and the emotional growth that it requires to keep up with a smart, beautiful woman has helped me not be as jealous. It is up to us all to identify the tragedy of the best person not getting the promotion because of discrimination of any kind. And that begins with identifying our own discrimination. Let’s all keep growing together, looking for a better way, and being present to our thoughts and behaviors towards ALL women.