Is It You - LDR Argument Breakdown Part Two
Welcome back! Are you ready for part 2 of Is It Them or Is It You?
If you haven’t read part one, here’s a link:
If you have read part one but need a quick reminder:
You and your significant other went to the beach, and both of you have underlying frustrations or concerns that have yet to be voiced out. It is day 6 of your trip and you are in the middle of an argument, the second one to occur thus far, that has a mix of underlying factors, exhaustion, and a sunburn that has boiled together to create an argumentative environment.
This part of the blog is going to take on the point of view of three different sides. The passenger’s side, the drivers, and the reality.
*As a disclaimer, we want to remind all readers that this is based on opinion, and the situation presented is completely fabricated. All relationships are different, but we hope this blog provides you with a perspective that may challenge your current thoughts.
As mentioned in part 1 of this blog, both the passenger and the driver have not seen each other in several months. Therefore, the time that they have together has been planned with numerous activities and events to do. This leaves little time for relaxation and sleep. In part 1, we mentioned that sleep loss has negative effects on one’s ability to process emotional information. Meaning while exhausted, it can be difficult to have empathy and compassion for others. This is the first underlying factor that affects both the passenger and the driver.
For the passenger, we mentioned in part 1 that they were unsure of how to deal with the intensity of an in-person argument that they had with the driver. For those in a long-distance relationship, it may be hard to notice the differences that arguing on the phone can have in comparison to in-person.
For example, on the phone, you could be sitting in silence (and your partner presumes you are compassionately listening to them) but in actuality, you could be rolling your eyes, they would never know. On the other hand, you could be arguing through text, giving both parties time to think through their responses and the situation could deescalate quickly because you both have more processing time.
In-person, there is no processing time, unless you both agree to walk away during the argument and come back when you’ve calmed down.
These two underlying factors were then combined with the physical pain of being sunburnt and the passenger’s frustration that the driver was not compassionate to their pain.
However, the passenger failed to recognize the part they played in the argument development.
In actuality, the passenger should have prepared for the trip thoroughly and brought the sunblock protection that they needed. But mistakes happen, therefore, the passenger should have either asked the driver to find a shop where they could buy something or should have been able to recognize that their sunburnt was based on their own lack of preparation and should not assume that every other time they go to the beach or any outdoor activity that the same issue would arise.
Overall, the passenger, unknowingly, in their complaints were also criticizing the environment that the driver loves.
As mentioned above, similar to the passenger, the driver has had little time for sleep and relaxation, which was coupled with the drivers underlying issue of having to drive 3 hours back home without the help of the passenger.
During this time, the driver should have spoken prior to leaving for the trip to the passenger about how long a three-hour drive by themselves would have left them completely exhausted. However as mentioned previously, hindsight is 20/20 and it is unlikely that the driver would have known at the beginning of the day how they would feel towards the end of the day. Therefore, as they began to feel more and more tired, they should have spoken up and said:
1) Let's leave a little earlier in the day so that the drive home isn't as exhausting and or let’s make a few rest stops on the way
2) Let's stay somewhere close to the beach and do the rest of the drive home the next day
The driver should be able to understand that not everybody is comfortable driving in a place that they've never been before. But more importantly, they should have voiced these concerns to the passenger as soon as they started to feel these underlying feelings.
This is because the driver’s response to the passenger could have been handled differently and removed unneeded friction between the two.
It was both the passenger’s and driver’s responsibility to recognize how their words would have affected one another.
Why do you argue?
Why are these two people (diver and passenger), who only have a short window of time together, spending it, arguing?
Why did they not resolve the underlying issues before they become out of hand frustrations?
If there were no underlying factors, do you think that both the passenger and the driver could have had a civil conversation about the passenger's concerns about the weather and the driver’s exhaustion over a 3-hour drive?
The answer is yes.
Hindsight is 20/20 and it is much easier in the future to dictate what you should have done in the present that is now the past.
However, this is more than just an argument about the weather, both parties were quick to state complaints instead of voicing a concern followed by a solution.
For example, the passenger could have been worried about getting sunburned again but could have voiced these concerns to the driver while also proposing a solution, “Next time I will try putting on a hat and sunblock and see if that makes the type of difference before I say that I hate living in a sunny country”.
On the other hand, the drive could have made more use of ‘I’ instead of ‘You” statements
For example, the driver said, “lf you had been smart enough to bring a hat and or an umbrella for shade, this would have never happened. Can you not see how you are blaming the sun for your lack of preparation?’”
Instead, the driver could have said, “I understand that you’re in pain, but I think if we prepared differently you would have gotten a better outcome”. Additionally, the driver should have mentioned how he felt about the situation instead of the judgment that came with his “you” statements.
However, this is not an easy task to accomplish when you are tired and exhausted. In conversations like this, we tend to react immediately instead of taking a pause and saying what’s really on our minds. Both the passenger and the driver need to improve how they communicate with one another and implement techniques such as pauses in conversations if they should need.
At the end of the day, the reality is that both parties played a part in this argument and both parties are validated to feel frustrated but should have aimed to speak their minds truthfully and kindly to each other before they got to the point of arguing.
If you can take anything away from this blog, it is to challenge you and your significant other to not let your immediate reactions dictate how you communicate with one another. Think before you speak and react in a way that you can be proud of.
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