Monday, March 21, 2011

Slouch more. . . Fight less

When Mrs O was little. . . way back in 'once-upon-a-time' time. . . her parents had a creative solution to sibling squabbles.  When the girls would get fighting, they would make them stand face to face and hug.  At first the girls would be at arms length; their finger tips would barely touch the shoulders of the adversary. 
"Closer!"  The parents would demand.  The girls would inch closer, faces turned away, scowls across their lips. 
"Closer!"  The sisters would begin to crack a smile despite their best efforts.
"Closer!"  Their fingers would now almost touch behind the other's neck, the tension would begin to loosen.
"Closer!"  Now grinning or even laughing, the sisters would be embraced in a proper hug and the fight was over.

Interesting, isn't it.  This came to me the other day when the Mrs and I were. . . not really fighting, but just tense with each other.  It was one of those days when you just know you're going to end up arguing if you don't change the direction of the day.  A take-two works well here, but this time, Mrs O simply said, "I miss my friend."  I had been completely oblivious to the scowl on my face, my crossed arms, and the way I had squared off my stance.

I couldn't help but uncross my arms and cross the room to give her a hug.  As I rested my head on her shoulder, all the tension melted away.  The wisdom of my in-laws suddenly made tangible sense in a new way.  You just can't fight like that. 

The anger management thing isn't as tough as we sometimes make it out to be.  Sometimes you just have to change your 'stance.'  Change the tone of your voice.  Change your posture.  After all, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's probably a duck.  If you want to be a lover and not a fighter, then walk and talk like a lover and not a fighter. 

Simple, really.

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