Conflict and differences are a part of almost every relationship that we nurture throughout our lives. From love, to blood, to professional associations, it isn’t unusual for us to be at loggerheads in our relationships. It my not happen often, but we do find ourselves in midst of heated arguments more than we would like to. However, in those moments of agitation, we often end up saying things which we end up regretting later. The toxicity of words or arguments which stem from deep emotions of frustration and bitterness may end up corroding our relationships forever. And when you look back at that spat after a year or so, the entire argument may seem unnecessary. But then how do we shift the control of heated arguments and fights from our emotional self to our rational self?

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Conflict and differences are a part of almost every relationship that we nurture throughout our lives.
  • In moments of agitation, we often end up saying things which we end up regretting later. 
  • “How will I feel in one year about this current conflict?” asking this question may help us gain a more rational perspective, says a research.
  • Why just arguments though, one can also seek perspective of their future self while making almost all decisions in life. 

From love, to blood, to professional associations, it isn’t unusual for us to be at loggerheads with those we consider as our friends or loved ones.

According to a research, all we have to do is to have the presence of mind to ask ourselves a single question. A research out of Yale and Canada’s University of Waterloo says that asking yourself, “How will I feel in one year about this current conflict?” may help you gain a rational grip on an argument. “Our study demonstrates that adopting a future-oriented perspective in the context of a relationship conflict-reflecting on how one might feel a year from now-may be a valuable coping tool for one’s psychological happiness and relationship well-being,” study co-author Alex Huynh told Inc.

Well, this is easier said than done. I usually pride myself in keeping my wits together during arguments, despite being married for eight years (imagine). But when the switch does go off, keeping emotions and words in check becomes almost impossible. Thus, more often than not, I end up saying things which I shouldn’t have and I think most people will connect with this. Who has the time to slow down, take a deep breath and turn into a Yoda to ask spiritual questions when you can make snarky remarks and let off the anger, resentment and frustration you have  accumulated since decades?

Who has the time to slow down, take a deep breath and turn into a Yoda to ask spiritual questions when you can make snarky remarks and let off the anger, resentment and frustration you have accumulated since decades?

But thinking about what your future self may feel about your current conflict one year from now may indeed be helpful, if you are able to put it into practice. It helps you gain perspective from a more mature standpoint. Also, it helps to think more rationally during an argument, as you are reminded that all that you say may cost you something or someone you hold dear to yourself today. Do you want that, you may find your future self asking you. This is specially a question one must consider carefully in matters of love and marriage. Do you want this fight to dilute your bond with your partner? Will you ever be able to make up for the damage your words may do today? Will your future self ever recover from the ensuing regret this heated moment is about to bring? All these questions eventually can be better answered from your future self’s perspective, who is less emotionally vested and more mature than you are today.

And why just relationships, I think it won’t hurt to look at all our decisions from our future self’s perspective. A few years ago, I took the decision to give up my career as a dentist to become a full-time writer. Many people advised me against it. I still face a lot of criticism for it. But, when I thought from my future self’s perspective, I could feel that I wouldn’t be happy ever, if I didn’t make this choice. For all that I am not as of yet, I am happy with that choice I made. Don’t we all owe it to our future self, to take all our decisions, even when it is about whether or not to say certain things during an arguments, keeping her or him in account?

Picture Credit: -Luis Galvez /Unsplash

Also Read: I Would Be Lying If I Said I Write To Make Sense Of The World

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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