Homework of the Month- Make arguments foreign to your relationship

Let’s face it; we don’t think of all those amazing homework assignments on our own.  There’s nothing wrong with borrowing something that works.  And I’ve gotten some great ideas from couples I have seen, who are already doing something that works.  Check out this one I heard this week, from a couple that has been using this idea successfully for years.

Whenever they find themselves beginning to engage in the possible makings of an argument, they have agreed to finish the discussion using Russian accents.  And since neither of them has ever been anywhere near Russia or had a single lesson in the language, that makes their accents that much more ridiculous.  They have found consistently over the years that once one of them kicks into character (think Boris and Natasha from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle show), relatively quickly the emotional intensity loses its hold and they are able, admidst the inevitable laughter, to find that lost perspective from the original discussion. It works for them, might it work for your clients?

The key of course, is not the Russian, though as Americans we can do pretty poor (and therefore humorous) Russian.  Who was that comedian some years ago that based his whole act on doing a bad Russian accent?  Anyway………. the key is simply having a default “doing something different” which helps to bring the arguers out of the moment.  Agree ahead of time to the “default mode”, and it usually (if they don’t wait too long into the discussion) only takes one to start the pattern shift.  Try it out, and let me know how it (or your version of it) works.  I know I will. –L.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    This is a great suggestion! I have a couple in mind who might be willing to try something like this. Anything to cut through the drama and stand-offs is a good thing. Thanks, Larry!


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