Use An Apple Watch In This Way Just Might Save Your Relationship
One of the significant problems that many couples face is lacking the ability to fight well.
The idea that couples fighting well might sound strange at first.
Many of us have the misconception that couples that are rocking it in their marriage don’t fight at all.
We imagine this couple that is always sensitive to each other needs, never gets annoyed or upset, and even if they do, they both forgive each other as quickly as the offense happened.
Sorry to be that guy, but this view of marriage and relationships is merely an illusion.
Yes, you’re scream and yell at each other, but this doesn’t automatically mean they are a rocking couple.
For all we know, they could be withdrawing from each other and ignoring the underlying issues that are keeping them from connecting deeply.
The bottom line is all couples will face disagreements. All couples will find times when one or both of them are annoyed or upset.
But what separates the champions of relationship from those doomed to struggle or breakup or divorce is the way in which they are fighting or how they handle the aftermath of the fight.
Sadly, many couples repeatedly galvanize each other into cycles of defense, criticism, contempt, and stonewall, which researcher John Gottman has shown to be some of the greatest signs of divorce.
So what are you suppose to do if you find yourself in this type of situation?
Part of the problem for many of us is when we are flooded with emotions we have a tough time communicating in a way that invites the other person into thinking about solutions and being open to any repair attempts.
Being flooded and continuing the discussion is a terrible idea.
When I’m working with couples in therapy, I have trained myself to notice when someone is being flooded. Once I observe it happening, I intervene to get that person or the couple time to calm down.
I know nothing can happen until the person or the couple is calmed down.
Being able to calm down is essential for effective communication.
It’s for this reason that one of the interventions that John Gottman teaches people is to take your pulse during a fight. The normal woman has a pulse rate of 82 to 86 beats per minute and men typically have an average between 72 and 76 beats per minute.
So, if your pulse is 10% above your normal heart rate, this means you are flooded and need to take a break to get back down to reasonable communication level.
The only problem with Gottman’s solution is it’s just awkward and a bit inconvenient to be in a deep discussion and have to try and take your pulse:
“Wait honey . . . I know your mad, but I need a minute to take my pulse to make sure I can effectively communicate with you.”
Hence the Apple Watch!
A sensor on the back of the Apple Watch measures your heart rate.
While this function is being marketed for those who want to workout, it can also be used to help couples stay in the effective communication zone.
Simply, swipe up on the watch face to open Heart Rate Glance and then swipe left or right to find the Heart Rate Glance.
Using the Apple Watch approach is going to be less awkward than taking your pulse.
Plus, it allows you to focus on what you or your spouse is saying because you do not need to count!
Just make sure to tell your spouse that you are looking at your watch to check your heart rate and not some text message or Facebook update!
If you find your heart rate is elevated, take a few minutes to let it come down.
Just make sure your spouse knows what you are doing. Wouldn’t want to accidentally communicate that you are walking out on them or withdrawing.
Now for those of you who do not have an Apple Watch and find Gottman’s method of taking your pulse to be a bit awkward, I have put together this Keeping Calm For Effective Communication Guide.
The guild walks you through 5 simple things you can do to stay calm.
This guide will be especially valuable to men, for as Gottman points out:
“Men are more likely to feel physiologically overwhelmed sooner than women during a heated exchange. And it takes less intense negativity for men to get physiologically overwhelmed.”
“Men are more likely to rehearse destructive, innocent-victim or vengeful thoughts once they feel flooded.”
Of course, women will benefit from the guide as well because regardless of gender, once a person is flooded, they usually do and say things they later regret.
So you might as well learn how what you can do to avoid being flooded.
Using an Apple watch will undoubtedly help, but the guild will teach you other important things you can do to get the same results.