I came across some notes from a Masters Seminar in couples therapy I’d taken about mid-way in my graduate studies. Rather than let them gather dust somewhere, I thought I put them up here on the Blog for future reference.
Back to Back Conversations
The central concept is this: Often when sitting back to back in the heat of an argument, we can hear ourselves and our words far more clearly and objectively.
Most of the time, in the heat of arguing, it’s in our human nature to try to always win an argument, being completely rational or irrational. Same thing happens to most of us on relationship discussions. In one case the woman was Chinese and the man Ecuadorian. The cultural differences were legion. So too, the opportunities for insight.
I came up with the idea of sitting (or standing) back-to-back whenever a discussion heated up and dispute resolution was the goal.
By doing this back-against-back thing, you continue the discussion as if you were still arguing face to face. But … after a couple of minutes, the passion and yes, the irrationality, dissipates and the discussion most likely ends with a happy outcome.
What happens is that the arguing becomes significantly more objective. You no longer have another person in front of you that you’re trying to reason with, apologize to, persuade or convince about something. Instead, you’re more vulnerable because you’re talking to nobody in front of you. Your voice resonates, and you can pretty much listen to your own voice and think, “Well, I do have a point!” or maybe, “Damn, I’m full of shit, this is wrong. I am wrong.”
Back to back. Try it sometime. The crucial conversations of our lives might be better served!