5 Steps To Calm Down Fast During A Fight

Is Your Relationship Headed For A Painful Breakup or Separation?

You can prevent it by learning a few simple steps.

First, a personal share…

I used to say or do the stupidest stuff when I got in a fight with my girlfriend…

…hurtful things I’d later regret.

Other times the fight would just shut me down and I’d stay that way for days or weeks.

Then, I’d just check out and hope it would get better.

She wondered what was going on with me.


I quietly felt shame or guilt about how I was acting…

I didn’t know how to do it differently.

You’ve been there, right?

My “way” often made it worse. But I couldn’t control myself.

It was like another person took over.

I’d watch myself say and do really dumb things….

“Wait, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…”

Sometimes, it was too late and the damage was done.

Other times I’d go completely silent and hide behind my wall…

…for days…

Then, I’d get annoyed at my girlfriend because in my mind she was making it way worse, when really she was just trying to help.

…But the truth was I was also making it worse.

I just didn’t know what to do…

Until…I was in enough pain that I decided to learn a new way.

I slowly figured out a way to not make things worse. Whew. What a relief.

The irony is that once I learned how to not make things worse with my partner and me, they got better.

So, I put everything I learned into a 5 step process so you don’t have to figure it out.

And, it’s still what I do when my wife and I are in any kind of conflict.

I call this Stop, Drop, Feel, Deal, Get Real.

Let’s go through each, one at a time.

So, if you don’t want to make things worse like I did, follow this simple formula:

1. Stop by calling a time out. Use the time-out symbol. Tell your partner you need a short break (not a break up, just a short time out) and try to give them a time frame in which you will return (5-30 min). This is basic boundary setting and it’s a way to honor yourself and your partner. Don’t let the fight get out of control. Take charge and call a time-out.

2. Drop. Go to your room, office, or outside, to get some space. You cannot do this move unless you have space. You must be alone. By “drop” I mean drop into yourself. Find a comfortable seated position. Close your eyes and notice the landscape of what is going on. Observe yourself. Here’s a short guided meditation in this free conflict podcast episode (about half-way through) on how to sit with your experience during conflict or upset). You are now learning basic mindfulness, and mindfulness is one key to resolve any conflict in your relationship. 

3. Feel. Feel whatever is coming up for you. It could be seething rage, sadness, or total numbness. Just get present with the feeling. Since most of us didn’t learn how to truly be with our feelings, we often try to get them to go away, strangely, by fighting with our partner or understandably running away from the other person. That can provide some quick relief sometimes, but does nothing to get you stronger. So, feel all of it. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to tremble, do that. If you are mad, keep your eyes closed, take of the label “mad” and just feel the sensation ripping through your body. Why do all this? You get stronger and you get to know yourself better. You slowly can get empowered and you stop doing your same old habit when you get in an argument. (Plus feeling sensation all the way through is a scientifically proven way to release trauma in the body).

4. Deal–This means deal with the real issue between yourself. Examine what just happened from your point of view and your partners (so you can understand them). How exactly did it start? What exactly did they do, not do, or say that “triggered” you into a reaction? Zero in on it. Then ask, why is that a big deal to me? For example, you might have just gotten in a fight because you said something that upset them. They got upset and now you’re upset too. So, you’ll want to “deal with yourself” by finding out why this is a big deal? Ask yourself what is really going on with me? Why am I so mad, scared, hurt, or sad right now? Zero in on exactly what they did that caused the upset. See if you can trace this back to a life-long pattern of yours. For example, when you were a kid and Dad raised his voice, do you respond similarly to dad as you do now when your husband raises his voice?

5. Get real. Adding on from the previous step. Go deeper. Get to the real reason you think you are fighting. Now you are ready to go back to your partner and speak to them in a calm, rational voice and tone. Start with something like “Honey, are you available to talk right now? I’ve sorted through some stuff and am more aware of what happened for me. I’d like to share that and understand your side as well.” Don’t know how to do this? Sign up for the free webinar here

If you are in a long-term relationships you’ll need to learn this one because there’s no way around conflict. Fighting is normal and a sign of health in a relationship. 

But if we never learn a new way when we get triggered, we default into what we’ve always done when we are upset. Ouch. 

Finally, it’s imperative to not only feel your emotions, but also learn to control them.

When we are really emotional, we make really dumb decisions like making threats, saying something mean or hurtful, or having sex with someone we barely know without protection. Why is that? The logical part of our brain shuts off and we are run by chemicals like cortisol, which help us survive, or dopamine, which gets us to reproduce.

The big benefit to doing things this way is that you get your connection back with your partner! YES! That’s what most of us want anyway.

And, see if you can learn how to dissolve arguements quickly (see below).

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