In the previous post I wrote some guidelines and foundations to communication. Psychologist John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute, identifies criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling as the “four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” which will lead to the destruction of relationships. Here is a link to a Gottman Institute’s video (that I linked in another post, but is helpful enough to link again!) about the four horseman and some examples on how to adjust your communication.

Another point not mentioned in the video, but which is important is about de-escalation. By “de-escalation” I am referring to to halting and reducing the escalation process that may happen during arguments. De-escalation doesn’t mean to avoid conflict, to act as if you’re not upset, and that your feelings and the intensity of your feelings aren’t valid. De-escalation though will help partnerships to discuss, communicate, listen during conflicts when experiencing intense emotions. Your feelings are valid, worthy of exploration, understanding and of being heard and de-escalation can assist in that process. Another crucial reason to learn and commit to incorporating de-escalation in communication is to avoid frequent emotional flooding in relationships. Over time and in frequency flooding can be harmful to our relationships and communication. Here is an article about emotional flooding and offers some additional tips.