'Temporarily Not Responding' Is The Relationship Move That Can Make Your Fights More Productive

When you and your partner fight, how do you handle the situation? Maybe you're the type of person that needs to hash things out right then and there, but that can actually cause more harm than good. When you're in the heat of the moment, you might say things you don't mean. It's human nature to want to defend ourselves when someone is attacking us, but being defensive can further damage the relationship, according to Lifengoal. Approaching an argument this way also makes it difficult to develop healthy conflict-resolution skills.


Some people may need a moment or two to cool down and step away from the situation. This is known as "temporarily not responding," a relationship move that can make your fights more productive. At the end of the day, no matter how upset you and your partner are with one another, the goal is to come to some sort of resolution, and not responding right away can help you do just that. The next time you find yourself in an argument, remember to follow these three steps.

Stop and think

The first step in the temporarily not responding method is to stop yourself from reacting to what your partner says. Of course, it's easy to lash out during an argument. But in order to make this relationship move work, you're going to have to refrain from doing so. If you're known to immediately respond to your partner's words, they might expect you to fight back, but by stopping yourself from getting defensive, you've thrown a curveball in their argument. This may seem difficult at first, but you'll see what a difference it makes in your relationship.


The next step is to take a moment to think about the situation. Let your partner know you need time to think. They might seem apprehensive at first, depending on their argument style. As we said, some people like to sit down and talk through things at that moment, and if that's your partner's conflict resolution method, kindly explain your reasoning behind taking time to think about what they've said.

Come up with a more appropriate response

By not angrily engaging with your partner, you'll notice they'll start to cool off too. As the saying goes, fighting fire with fire makes the whole world burn. In other words, when you diffuse the situation by not responding right away, you're opening up space for a rational and mature conversation. The experts at CNBC recommend using the phrase, "I'd actually like to focus on all the things we agree on," as an appropriate response. This little sentence can lower their wall of defense, making your fights more productive.


In addition, your partner might be looking to fight just for the sake of fighting, but temporarily not responding brings them down to your level. Additionally, taking the time to think of an appropriate response improves your conflict resolution skills, which will help you in the long run. You can use this move with anyone you argue with, not just your partner. So, the next time you and your partner are disputing, remember to stop, think, and respond more appropriately.