Once the need for a time out is recognized, the next step is to politely request to disengage. “I’m really feeling upset right now and if we continue, I might lose my temper. Please allow me to take twenty minutes to cool off and collect my thoughts.”
Along with the request to have a time out should be a set time to re-engage. I suggest that a person make it easy on him or herself. Do you need 5 minutes, 15 or an hour? You decide, but be sure to inform your partner that after the time-out you are willing to re-engage.
One last suggestion for today: Remember to be assertive and call the time-out for yourself. It is rarely helpful to tell the other person that they need a time out. And again, remember to suggest a time to resume the conversation.
I’ll continue the discussion in tomorrow’s post.
Thanks for reading and feel free to add any comments.