Yes HALT. It means stop. And it spells Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.
Have you ever tried to have a conversation when you’re hungry or tired? Have you ever tried to solve a problem whilst feeling angry or lonely?
I want you to think about how crazy it is to demand of your partner that they stay up late, while you’re both tired, desperate to solve a problem, knowing that you are just going around in circles. It only makes matters worse.
Think about this. If a terrorist takes hostages and wants to get information out of them, they will employ the following strategy:
- Starve them, knowing that we don’t make good decisions when we’re Hungry.
- Agitate them, knowing that we don’t make good decisions when we’re Angry.
- Isolate them, knowing that we don’t make good decisions when we’re Lonely
- Deprive them of sleep, knowing that we don’t make good decisions when we’re Tired.
Today’s Relationship Minute: HALT
Have you ever done this in your relationship?
This dynamic happens in a relationship when you don’t have an agreement that allows you to resolve conflict. You will push in the moment to try to resolve something even though your track record tells you this strategy doesn’t work. The way through is to make an agreement and keep it. Agree that the next day you will bring this issue to the forefront at a specific time, and work it through when you have your wits about you. Now if you have avoided issues in the past, then your partner won’t buy in, as they won’t trust you to bring the issue forward.
There are two key points here: one, that you follow through on your word, and two, there are few if any issues that can be solved in one conversation. Set aside times when you would be willing to bring new information to the table about the topic and see it as an unfolding in the relationship. Remember that any relationship is designed to assist you in discovering who you are and how you want to live.