If you’re like me, you probably grew up hearing the phrase “Don’t go to bed angry” and when you entered into the world of dating, regarded this advice as healthy relationship law. You may have thought or still think that going to bed angry is a surefire way to damage your relationship and that those angry feelings that you feel will fester and intensify in your sleep making whatever you were angry about harder to resolve. There are certain arguments that can be hashed out quickly and resolved with ease but there are other arguments that take time to process and properly address and in those cases going to bed angry can be more beneficial than not.
When you’re not really listening to each other – If you’re having an argument where the other person just doesn’t seem to get the point that you’re trying to make or seems to unintentionally be twisting your words around and misconstruing your intent and vice versa, it may be helpful to take a pause. Usually when this happens, its because the two people arguing are more focused on winning the argument and getting their point across than trying to resolve a conflict. Continuing a conversation when its obviously going nowhere may lead to more harm than good, whereas taking a breather from the conversation may help you to process what the other person is saying and them to process what you’re saying and eventually, come to hear each others point of view when you resume the conversation.
When you have kids to take care of – As nice as it would be to solve a problem and to decide to keep at it until you do, once you become a parent, you don’t really have that privilege. You have kids to take care of in the morning and staying up until 3 am to argue when you’re kids will be up at 7 am and expecting functional parents may not be the best idea. Even if you don’t have kids but have a job that you need to wake up for, being a hot mess at your job the next day because you were up arguing the night before probably won't be in your best interest either.
When one person is shutting down – There are times that one party to the argument will concede to the argument just for the sake of stopping the argument. In this case, the argument doesn’t actually get resolved, it just gets buried. It may also lead to resentment from the person conceding, especially if they’re the one that’s always giving in. If you see this happening, rather than accepting the victory, stop the argument for the time being with the intent to come back to it when you've rested and aren't at your wit's end.
When you’re too emotional – Sometimes it's impossible to get your point across if every time you open your mouth, you end up crying or when you’re so angry that you fear you’ll say something you’ll regret and can’t take back. Tempers will get flared and there will be some tears shed but if you can’t control them during your argument, try taking a break from it and resuming your argument when you’re more composed. The more cool-headed and composed you are during an argument, the more clearly you'll be able to make your point as well as receive the other's person's point.
When you’re mindset is altered – If you’ve been drinking, even if you’ve only had a drink or two, you’re not at your best. You may even find that you have more fights after you’ve had a drink or two because your inhibitions have been lowered and have gotten into the habit of only fighting when drinking. Even though you feel more comfortable doing it then, this is the absolute worse time to carry out an argument. If you find yourself starting arguments after a night out, you may have to do some deep soul searching to figure out why you feel most comfortable doing so then and figure out how to start conflict resolution in you're in a healthier headspace.