One usually associates a time out with something we give our children when they misbehave. But it turns out we adults can stand them every now and then. For example, a time out is very useful to use when you are in an argument with your spouse.
Why should you call for a time out when you are knee deep into an argument? For one thing, once things get so heated between the two of you, not much is going to be accomplished. You won’t be able to come to an agreement when you are both steaming angry and chances are that if the argument continues one of you will shut down, anyways. This is a bad way to stop the argument. It is much better to agree to take a time out.
When you take a time out, you won’t be as likely to say things that you will regret later on. A time out allows you both time to calm down and think about what you really want to say when you discuss the subject later. You can figure out what points you really want to make and the best way to explain it to your spouse. You aren’t coming at it from such an emotional, angry stance after a time out.
After an argument goes on so long, other things begin to be brought into the argument that really don’t have anything to do with the subject at hand. Before you know it, you are arguing about things that you had no inclination of arguing over when the argument started.
The right way to take a time out is to say that you realize you are both angry and think you both need some time to calm down. Agree to discuss the subject later and it is best if you can agree when that will be. Having a set time to talk again will assure you both that the issue will not be forgotten.
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