If I’m being a Buffalo, how do I handle a bad reaction from my spouse?




Earlier I talked about asking a question. Sometimes buffaloing up is asking hard questions and then just listening. So buffaloing up is not just strong all the time, sometimes it’s, I’m feeling disconnected, I don’t know what to do with it. So you continue, whether it be defensiveness, gaslighting, anger, shame, or running, I can start off calmly addressing an issue, and if I find I react, his response is negative.

So in that situation, you may say, it feels like you don’t maybe want to talk about this now. But I don’t know how to fix our relationship or work on our relationship if we can’t have hard conversations. What do you propose we do? That’s a question. Invite them to help you solve your problem. This actually comes from an interesting book that I read, ‘Never Split the Difference’ by Chris Voss, where he negotiated with terrorists, people who were bomb threats, all types of people, and he made a very interesting observation. He said that when they started helping the investigators or the detectives solve the problem that, so for example, if somebody called and said, Hey, I’ve kidnapped your child, I need a $500,000 ransom. What would you do? Chris Voss, in his book, he talks about how to negotiate with individuals who’ve done such things. To me, the concept, actually as he boiled it down, he said, really, it comes from having them help you solve your problems. So you might say, how am I supposed to do that? Meaning in other words, get the money.

Now notice in the question, they’re asking the question, how am I supposed to do that? How am I supposed to come closer to you when I feel betrayed? Just ask the question. See how they respond. Listen. And if it doesn’t work, that doesn’t work for me, I don’t, that won’t work for me.

See, the point is if they feel attacked, they’re going to attack back or they’re going to go away. We’re asking them to stay present. How am I supposed to do that? Is inviting them to help you solve the pain or the problem that they’ve actually created. Anyway, I think it’s a very important concept for us to consider in our relationships.

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