The other day my hubby came home from work as usual. I’d been working from home that day and it hadn’t been a great day overall. There were some things that had rubbed the wrong way and I definitely was in the mood to vent.
I always give him 20-30 minutes to relax on his own. He seems to have always needed this alone time at the end of his work day and I recently read that this is actually kind of a man thing…many men need this time before they dive into a conversation and the tasks that may be on hand for the evening. Giving him this space has made a huge difference in our relationship. Once that time has passed and he surfaces on his own and we always do a check in on our day, chat about what the evening holds, etc. It’s one of my favorite parts of our day.
After he shared about his day, he asked how mine was and I said, “Ask me again in four minutes.” We continued to chat and I felt my mood lifting. Just being able to connect with someone in that space felt really good.
After about four minutes passed, he asked again. I didn’t feel quite the need to vent as I originally did but did share that it had been a long day. He asked why I wanted to wait for the time to pass and so I told him.
Experts say, the first four minutes you interact with someone sets the tone for the rest of your time together. Internally I always kind of watch the clock and am mindful around what I share if it isn’t positive. This time just happened to be a bit short and I wanted to make sure I waited.
As I’ve added this practice, I’ve noticed a huge shift in my interactions and I love how positive most of them have become – not just the ones at home with my hubby. Setting the tone is an important piece in any interaction. We want to show up as our best self and yet, truth is, sometimes we just need to purge something crappy we are feeling or have just experienced.
Consider implementing a four minute rule into your relationships and see what a difference it makes for you. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Don’t forget to come back and let me know how it went.