Connect2 Marriage Counseling

Arguing in Public

Arguing in public

I went for a walk out at Princeton Point near Half Moon Bay in December. The rain had stopped after pouring the night before, and it was damp and fresh. I watched a Snowy Egret digging for lunch, a powered parasail fly overhead, saw dogs, surfers, couples and families.

Arguing in publicPretty soon I heard a couple walking behind me, arguing in public. Nasty tones. You said this . . . No, you said that . . . You didn’t call me . . .  I didn’t know . . . You sniped at me . . . You should’ve . . .

Harmful Communication

These are all the phrases and ways of communicating that I don’t allow in my office because they cause harm, and part of my work is to reduce harm. Can you imagine listening to that all day? Well, maybe you can. Maybe you do. Maybe it’s in your house. I’m sorry, if that’s true. I don’t allow that in my office, because we have to do things differently in order to re-wire our brain to healthier communication.

These types of arguments solve nothing, and leave both parties feeling lousy and resentful. Do you think they went home, had a glass of wine and enjoyed sex after that? Well, maybe a few. But for the most part, no, I don’t think so either.

These public arguments are painful to hear from out here, and likely worse from inside there. Usually, arguing happens because we have a need that is not being met: to be heard, to be seen, respected, valued, not fixed, etc.

Healthy Communication

We can learn to say it in a healthy way: I don’t feel heard right now. Please listen and don’t fix this for me; I need a sounding board right now.

Notice when the word “You” comes out of your mouth. What goes with it? How does that work out?

We are rocks in a tumbler, taking off the rough edges and polishing one another.

If you want to learn tools to communicate better, call or email; we can help.


Photo by mzacha