I approached discovering a spouse the way I do even the most emotional choices: with logic. A number of years back, before I started dating, I wrote a list of prerequisites and some discretionary features, very similar to the way one may choose a smartphone. That was intentional, although A friend who helped me complained that I eliminated 90 percent of the people with my requirements: I needed to narrow the pool so I didn’t waste time on tout suits.
Jasmine Jaksic (@JasmineJaksic) is a technical program manager at Google who lives in Sunnyvale, California. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and Huffington Post.
Years of software development had taught me that the value of specified requirements. And it worked. Within a few days, I met . After weeks of relationship testing, we agreed to proceed. A year after we were married.
Our relationship progressed easily and happily. From the start, we had some simple rules that prevented common home conflicts. As an example, when it comes to doing chores (and most other things), we appreciate efficiency over equality. It isn’t about whether we are dividing tasks 50–50, but more about how effectively and quickly we can do it. If this means I carry out most or all of the workload, I&rsquo with this, knowing that he is better than me at other things, and he does them willingly. We agreed to care for the relationship like one working unit, with every part compensating for the other’s weaknesses.
Obviously, I was not prepared to emerge from an inane argument. On a Saturday morning, coffee in hand, I turned on HBO. Each week, I'd been awaiting watch Montage of Heck, a documentary about Kurt Cobain. I’ve been a Nirvana fan since I was a teenager. I put the volume to a level rsquo & that;s sat down and required to enjoy songs that was grunge. I had been so engrossed that I didn’t detect my husband until he was directly in my line of sight.
“What is this? ” he inquired, looking rather confused.
I paused the show and clarified my fervor for alternative rock. To my surprise, that conversation didn’t end there. He offered unsolicited suggestions and kept asking questions.
“TED talks should be watched by You. They are more useful,&rdquo this was followed by hints on podcasts, books, and programming languages that I could be sparking.
“They are not comparable. I&rsquo. I want to watch this,&rdquo. As a compromise, I offered to decrease the volume. But he remained perplexed by #x 27 & the audio;s allure to me. The back-and forth intensified, patience dwindled, giving way to undiluted frustration. We began to talk past each other.
&ldquo are we talking like this? ” he inquired.
Dealing with emotions hasn’t been our power. “rsquo & Let;s use the whiteboard,” he concurred, and I proposed. We favor a massive whiteboard that serves a more practical function, although most people have paintings in their rooms.
Software programmers sometimes use a technique called order diagram to illustrate communication flows. Having a mug of a mark in the other and coffee in 1 hand, I wrapped in. I drew a diagram of interactions and events that had turned into a mundane communication into an altercation that was emotional. I used a marker to emphasize regions where our conversation had escalated.
He detected and stood back gently, interrupting only to ask clarifying questions. As a result of whiteboarding, rather than employing the energy against each other, we currently used it to fix a common issue, and the tension began to dissipate. When I was finished, he took his turn.
We understood that neither had entered the conversation in an angry state or of us had any intention of starting a debate, and there was no disagreement between us. We traced the reason for the argument to a series of misunderstandings–incorrect assumptions about the other person or messages that were received and interpreted compared to the speaker had intended.
Almost two hours after the whiteboard was full, not only with the sequence diagram but 2 overlapping charts, which revealed our states normally got triggered, escalated, peaked, and then receded. Since the contention was only one data point, we used experiences, including those using our exes, to create the charts reliable and more accurate. He wrote a very simple simulation that showed at what thinking overwhelms and also created a pair and it gets more challenging to return to a regular state. We called this the inflection point.
At the conclusion of it, we agreed to cues to watch for in the future and some lessons. We took note of these causes and differences in communication styles that are likely to cause a negative response, so that we may try to avoid them. We conceded, if everything else fails, we’d at the very least use the whiteboard before they escalated into verbal brawls to solve misunderstandings.
“Should we go have some sushi? ” he inquired. It was almost lunchtime. “Shortly ” I stated after I finish watching the documentary, & rdquo, and he smiled agreeably.
Several months later we were going to argue. “Remember the graph? ” I inquired. “Right now I’m attaining the inflection point. ” Following a look of surprise, ” he stated, “Oh? I had no idea. Thank you. ” Crisis averted. And we didn’t actually need this time to the whiteboard.
WIRED Opinion publishes bits written by outside contributors and reflects a broad assortment of viewpoints. Read more comments here.
Read more: http://www.wired.com/