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The difficulty (or one of the difficulties) in honest self-reflection following a fight comes in creating the distance we need between our attempts at discernment and the underlying unpleasant experience. In other words, our feelings tend to cloud our judgment. We need to create space between the emotional trigger and the beginning of our process of deciphering the meaning of the event or fight.
The problem is, we intuitively and instantaneously seek the meaning of our interactions, often before they’re even finished. What did he (or she) mean by this phrase? Or by this look? He (or she) is so angry, and this has never happened before, does that mean this relationship is over?
In other words, we begin the analysis in the height of the moment when we’re least equipped to draw conclusions about the true meaning of the moment. What I mean is, we draw plenty of conclusions about what that moment means, but very few of them are true or accurate.
How do we draw accurate conclusions about what has taken place during a fight?