Debbie and Nat were up late arguing. Very late.
A few days later Debbie told me about what had happened and she asked –
"We did what we were supposed to do, right? "Never go to bed angry…."
"So how did the argument end? "
"We know that you shouldn't go to bed upset at each other, so we stayed up till 3 a.m. until we finally, sort of, came to an agreement."
"Sort of? How were you feeling in the morning?"
"It didn't start off great, but over a cup of coffee , which we badly needed in order to start the day after so little sleep, we decided to calm down and talk about it later…”
So did they do right by staying up till 3:00 a.m.?
Popular opinion is yes, because everyone knows, NEVER GO TO BED ANGRY.
(As if overnight some extra strong glue will come and keep the anger and bad feelings in place and they'll never ever go away. Go to sleep angry and the end is near.)
But I say no.
Allow me to explain.
In general, when there's a fight, both sides want to win.
But what is winning? Is winning in the boxing ring the same as winning in a relationship? Is winning having the other person get knocked out? Bleeding?
Or is winning making peace?
What's the outcome that we want? What's the outcome we're fighting for?
Those are the questions that I have to ask myself.
If I want peace, if I want the outcome to be getting ourselves back on track, I need clarity of thought to get there. When I'm tired I'm not thinking straight and the part of me that "wants to win" screams louder than the part of me that wants peace, serenity, happiness.
When it's getting late and I'm getting tired, that's the time to say "stop". That's the time to say "Look, we're arguing now, but it's not going anywhere pretty right now. Let's agree that we're hurt\somethings not great\something needs to be talked about. But now is not the time. Let's go to sleep and see how things look in the morning".
That's the short answer to the question. Is that all? No! There are more reasons. There are more facts and studies. There's more.
But that's the (short) gist of it.
Get a good night's sleep.
And if you don't agree with me or want to hear more – just give me a call!