In the next chapter of our new book, Snap Strategies for Couples: 40 Fast Fixes for Everyday Relationship Pitfalls, Dr. Pepper and I disprove the theory of never going to bed angry. Have another taste!
Your mother may have told you never to go to bed mad. Many people believe this to be true. We don’t. The problem is that when you are mad, you are often in no shape to deal with anything well, least of all a difficult problem or hurt feelings.
When we are really, really mad, the human brain reverts to survival mode. The only options are fight, flight, freeze, or surrender. Although the human brain has evolved to do more thinking, problem solving, and creativity under duress, those basic survival instincts still set in even if we consciously know our survival is not at stake. Doctors John and Julie Gottman have done research indicating that people, especially men, can get angry fast, and it takes longer to cool down than you might think. While you are still angry, you are much more likely to be irrational or to say things that are mean and make it harder to reach a good solution. It is better to sleep on it, even though you may really want to keep at it because you feel like you need to resolve the problem immediately. That feeling is understandable, but it is likely to be counterproductive. Not only that, if you push too hard, you might end up saying things that are more damaging than good.
As always, for the other pages of the chapter and the rest of the book, order here!