page created 11/23/07 modified 9/18/08 page modified 12/3/08
The Warring Couple

Some years ago, I went to visit a married couple that I had been friends with
for years.

When I arrived the atmosphere was very tense and full of anger. You could
have cut it with a knife and put it on bread.

I viewed the situation rapidly and observed the man and woman were
arguing and making no sense at all.

I broke into it and asked the wife to get me a pad of paper and pen. She did
this.



Putting the upset in writing.


I then got their agreement to stop shouting and to stop verbal communication
entirely. Instead, I asked them to write down their comment to each other.

My theory was that writing would slow the communication and force some
analytical thinking. It's difficult to write without thinking some.

At first the communication was very insulting and poorly written. After a few
minutes it improved and within five minutes, they were no longer upset.

We ended off on the pen and paper and I asked them what had started the
argument.

Neither could remember.



Creating an Analytical Environment by WRITING


So what I observed was that I took some unanalytical, low toned reactive
communication
and mechanically brought it up to analytical communication.

This is a small trick that worked.

Related article:
Listen and Guide, Someone to.

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