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Have you ever been in a personal or work relationship where the other person resorts to “talking it out” over every little thing? 

Couples in relationships can do themselves a disservice by drawing attention to every disagreement or minor issue.  Feelings get hurt sometimes but you have to pick your battles.

That said, repeated disagreements around a similar theme or issue can suggest an underlying conflict of values which will continue to surface until resolution.  Resolving the issue should be a cognitive rather than emotional process.  Too often, at least one person wants to address the conflict immediately because of his/her discomfort with disharmony. 

A little bit of short-term disharmony can be healthy as it can force you to clarify your values and become more self-aware (which leads to greater peace of mind).  In addition, trying to resolve a conflict while negative emotions are high is a futile task. 

Have you ever had someone try to beat you with logic during an argument (e.g., claiming repeatedly, “That doesn’t make sense!”)?  You’ve probably heard of amygdala hijacking. 

In short,  when you’re in a state of intense anger or fear, your brain doesn’t have access to logic and rational thinking.  Said more scientifically, certain neurotransmitters in the prefrontal lobe of your brain, where logic and reason exist, aren’t firing. 

Taking time to sort out your emotions first will allow your brain to think coherently and can permanently resolve the issue.

In my next blog post, I will share an approach that incorporates the 2 concepts that I’ve introduced in Part 1:  Stopping the argument and in this blog.

Here is the link to: Part 3:  Pulling it all together.