The next time you get into a spat with a loved one, be it your child, your spouse or your parent, you might remember the three Ss for soft, simple and slow! When caught in the tangle of a disagreement, we, human being, resort to hard emotions. It is the way we are wired, we “drop into” our second brain, the fight/flight system. This drop is not a problem, the experts say, as long as it is not a plunge into that system. The reason a plunge is problematic is that a plunge takes longer to recover because it brings things way out of balance.
When I work with couples, I become a guide at recognizing the drop into the fight/flight system. I model the soft, simple and slow mode of being through my voice, my words and my approach. Often the result is beneficial! The stream of hard emotions (anger, fear, guilt) stops, and my modeling averts a plunge into the fight/flight system.
I like the sound of those three words when working with couples. It is soothing to me, and it reminds me that I bring a solution in the midst of difficult experiences, when hurt has been stifled into either anger, blame or avoidance. To me, those words are like bringing a calm, fresh breeze into the room and watching that breeze to soothe and nurture a little bit at a time.
What is fascinating is that babies know this intuitively. They teach us to slow ourselves down, to attend to their need gently and simply. Watch mothers and babies that are bonded together, and they show this dance of the three Ss! And couples learn to avert the pitfalls of their scars and hurts when they learn to tune into each other’s needs softly, simply and slowly!