Relationship Minute: Soothing Each Other

Self-soothing is essential to conflict management. You can course-correct an argument that gets too heated by regulating your own response. Further, you can make repairs by soothing your partner as well.

Part of knowing each other’s inner world is understanding what your partner needs when they are flooded.

What calms them down? A long hug? Saying something kind and gentle such as, “I hear you”? Or do they just need you to listen for a while?

As you work to self-soothe, consider what can help your partner as well. If you’re not sure, ask them. “What can I do to soothe you?” Their answer may hold the key to successful repair attempts, better conflict management, and a stronger emotional bond.

How you handle conflict speaks volumes about the health of your relationship.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.