Give Up Your Nukes

When you have a good memory, you have an arsenal of arguments at your disposal at any given time. That’s a good thing for enabling quick decisions, winning important negotiations, and furthering discussions at work.

In your personal relationships, however, it’s a go-to Pandora’s box: Easy to open but very hard to close. If you throw an old mistake at your partner every time they do or say something that upsets you, you’ll quickly poison the well. Often, there’s no coming back from that.

The worst arguments in your quiver, however, are the nukes. The big, psychological nukes you know will hit them where it hurts. “Yeah…but you cheated on me five years ago!” Those nukes might destroy the other person, but they’ll definitely destroy you. Throwing those kinds of knives will win you a battle, but they’ll inadvertently change you as a person – and not for the better.

When I was younger, I dropped nukes on occasion. Now, even when I know I have “the ace” up my sleeve, I try to forget it. Give up my nukes. End the Cold War before it begins.

I used to think nukes mean power, and they do – but it’s not the kind of power that’ll get you or anyone you love anywhere. So the best thing you can do? Retire them altogether, and realize that some battles can only be fought with empathy, no matter how high their stakes.