Do you say or do things to your partner during an argument that you regret later?

If so, then today's relationship tip is for you!

Today, you will learn one of the most important tools you can use to deescalate conflict.

Today, you will learn one of the most important tools you can use to deescalate conflict.

This tool is called taking Time-Out.

And while taking a Time-Out may seem to be a simple idea, there are some important things that you need to know to make sure it works effectively.

Let's begin!

What Is A Time-Out?

A Time-Out is where you leave a situation for an agreed time because your anger is getting out of control.

Although Time-Outs do not solve relationship arguments, they prevent these arguments from getting out of control.

A Time-Out is where you leave a situation for an agreed time because your anger is getting out of control.

However, to take a Time-Out effectively, it is essential to follow six simple steps.

These steps are:

Step 1: Discuss Time-Out 

If you intend to use Time-Out in your relationship, discuss the idea of Time-Out with your partner before you need to use it.

This discussion should take place when you are your partner are both calm. Make sure you agree on the following points:

- at what point on the Tension Scale you should take a Time-Out

- how long this Time-out will be for, and

-where you will go during a Time-out.

If you intend to use Time-Out in your relationship, discuss the idea of Time-Out with your partner before you need to use it.

Having these agreements in place before you take a Time-Out is vital to your partner understanding that Time-Out is a tool to help you go down the Tension Scale.

You are not trying to avoid the argument or walking out.

Step 2: When

Only take a Time-Out when you are getting high on the Tension Scale.

For many people, this means when they are reaching seven on the Tension Scale.

Monitoring your Early Warning Signs will help tell you how high you are getting on the Tension Scale.

Only take a Time-Out when you are getting high on the Tension Scale.

Step 3: Say

When you need to take a Time-Out, say this clearly to your partner.

Keep your language simple and clear. For example, say:

"I'm getting high on the Tension Scale. I need to take a Time-Out".

Do not blame your partner for you taking a Time-Out.

Also, make sure that you don't use harsh or inappropriate language when telling your partner that you need to take a Time-Out.

Step 4: Leave

Leave the room once you tell your partner that you need to take a Time-Out.

Do not stay and continue to argue with your partner!

Step 5: Wait for the agreed time

Once you have taken your Time-Out, make sure that you return to your partner at the agreed time.

Even if you have calmed down before this time, stick to your agreement to come back at the agreed time, as your partner may also need time to calm down!

Step 6: When You Return 

When you return from Time-Out, you and your partner will need to talk about whether the issue you were arguing about was important or not.

If it is, you will need to decide together whether to keep talking about it or not.

In my experience, couples usually need to wait a day or two before talking about the same issue again.

Couples usually need to wait a day or two before talking about the same issue again.

You will also need to discuss how you can talk about this issue without getting into the same argument again.

At this point, think about the following questions:

- Do you need someone else present when you talk about this issue to keep you both calm?

- Do you need to get someone else's opinion on this topic?

- Should you both do more research before talking about the issue again?

- Does someone need to compromise?

Things Not To Do When Taking A Time-Out:

When you take a Time-Out, do not:

- drive a vehicle

- use alcohol or drugs

- use the time-out to fuel your anger

- text or call your partner

- rehearse in your head why you are right, and your partner is wrong

- stay away from your partner for longer than the agreed time

Your Time-Out strategy:

unhappy couple

To effectively use Time-Out, answer the following questions to help you develop your Time-Out strategy.

You may also need to discuss these questions with your partner.

These questions are:

1) At what point on the Tension Scale will I take a Time-Out?

2) What will I say when I need to take a Time-Out?

3) Where will I go during a Time-Out?

4) How long will I take Time-Out for?

5) How will I calm myself down during a Time-Out?

6) How will my partner and I decide whether to talk about the issue (or not) when I come back?

7) How can I be sure that I am a genuine Time-Out (and not just walking out of an argument)?

8) What else do I need to remember to take Time-Out effectively?

9) Have I talked to my partner about Time-Out?

Teaching your children to give will help your children grow up to be giving and loving adults!

Final Points About Respectful Communication: 

The following points are helpful to keep in mind when discussing any issue with your partner:

- You have the right to express yourself however you choose, but you should not do this in a hostile or abusive manner.

- For couples to communicate effectively, both partners must listen to what the other person is saying (even if you disagree with it)

- Negotiation and compromise are required for good communication. If you win an argument, your partner has lost, and you've lost good communication.

- There is no single issue that is more important than maintaining a non-violent, non-abusive relationship.

Conclusion:

In today's relationship tip, you have learned the importance of using Time-Out to deescalate conflict.

Time-Outs do not solve relationship arguments, but they do prevent these arguments from getting out of control.

To use Time-Out effectively, follow these six steps:

Step 1: Discuss Time-Out before you need to use it

Step 2: Decide where on the Tension Scale you will take a Time-Out

Step 3: Say, "I need to take a Time-Out"

Step 4: Leave the situation

Step 5: Wait for your agreed time before you return, and

Step 6: Decide whether to keep talking about the topic or not

OK. That's all for today!

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About The Author:

Alastair Duhs is a relationship expert who has helped over 10,000 couples create a happy, loving and passionate relationship over the last 30 years. He is also a keen triathlete, astronomer and chess player.