Strike the phrase, “How was your day, honey?” from your vocabulary. Why? A significant number of people are too tired to converse at the end of the day.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, about 45 percent of the managers surveyed were too tired, stressed out or in need of decompression to talk with a spouse or partner immediately after work. Such strains are “wreaking havoc” on family and personal life, the study says.
That doesn’t mean you and your spouse shouldn’t talk to each other about your workday at all. But you both may want to try three coping strategies during your first hour home:
1. Try walking therapy. A brisk walk outdoors gives you time to do some deep breathing, shift gears and recover.
2. Offer a quid pro quo. To a spouse who feels hurt by your silence, say, “If you give me 15 minutes to calm myself down and decompress, I’ll be completely attentive to you.”
3. Arrange for an after-dinner date, every night. Plan a heart-to-heart talk after you’ve had time to relax or put the kids to bed. Tip: When it’s time to talk, recommends Linda Cherney, a couples’ counselor in Chapel Hill, N.C., use the “10-10-10” strategy to reconnect at the end of the day: You spend 10 minutes in silence together, and then each person takes 10 minutes to talk, uninterrupted.