Do the cool off well
Tempers are up, feelings are hurt, and anger is simmering when there’s been a disagreement and unpleasant words have been exchanged. The first thing to do is to let it cool off. Plug in some music, sleep it off, write it out, go take a walk, do a bathroom-monologue to vent out; whatever works for you. Without cooling off, there cannot be the next steps towards sorting and resolving the nasty knots. Disengage. Detangle.
But you don’t have to be breathing fire on your partner or giving them cold silence during this time. It might be tough but tell them verbally that you’re upset and aren’t good to talk yet, but that you are working on it. This will put them at ease and check any unnecessary escalation.
Say the apology and receive it patiently
The apology is at the heart of the patch-up process. Offer an apology when you’re ready and really mean it. If your partner is the one who has initiated the saying of sorry, hear them out and accept their apology for the effort of saying it, first of all. Then, you can move on to the reasons for what brought you to fighting and patching up.
Sorry is not enough
The apology is guaranteed to significantly cool off things between you two. It is, then, a good time to revisit the cause of the argument to settle it for once and for all, or to at least reach a temporary resolution or making peace with the status quo.
This is a delicate step and that’s also the reason many couples skip it thinking saying sorry is enough. But you never know when the ghosts of the argument might jump out of the cupboard to cause another fight over the same issue. Now, you do not want that, do you?
A gesture to make up
An effort to make peace in the form of a gesture goes a long way and breaking away the coldness that might have crept in between you and your partner because of the fight. The gesture could be anything – a gift, a handwritten note, a voice message, a surprise outing (say for an ice-cream? Or, just a walk in the park), cooking a meal for your partner, doing a task that your partner has been asking you to do for a while, or dropping them an old picture of you two from the happy times.
Well, you’d know what works best for your partner. Don’t be afraid to be corny, cheesy. Go all the way, we say. This gesture could be followed up after you talking things out, or it could be the set-up for your apology.
Close the distance
Apart from words and gestures, physical touch can mend the bridges unlike anything else. Go reach out for their hand on the remote, give them a light hug from behind and catch them unaware, lean on to them as they’re sitting busy with something while somber by the aftermath of the argument. Reach out, and who knows where things might go from here (ahem)?
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.
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