We all mess up from time to time. Remember, it is not the conflict that defines a relationship. The magic is in the repair. How well do you repair?
When we have made a mistake, we have usually done something out of alignment with our values. This might cause guilt or shame. Guilt is the feeling that “I have DONE a bad thing”, whereas shame says “I AM a bad person”. It is a subtle but powerful difference.
If you immediately go into I AM bad, I wonder how it might be for you to reframe it into I DID a bad thing? Try it out – how does it feel?
Once we are clear that we have done something that we regret, how do we repair?
The first step is to spend some time being honest with yourself about what happened for you. In the moment, you might get angry with your partner over something small, but when you think about the chain of events, realise that you are actually mad at your boss, and the anger is coming our sideways at someone you love. Once you know what happened, you can let your partner know and apologise.
It takes vulnerability and courage to own our mistakes. In the end, the vulnerability creates more intimacy. We have the opportunity to learn about each other more deeply and the other person’s inner workings. We also have the chance to be accountable to the other person and our values, which creates a deeper sense of self-trust. In the end, it is a win-win.
Let me know in the comments if you have done a vulnerable repair that ended up bringing you closer?
Disclaimer: This post is not appropriate if you are experiencing domestic violence. If this is the case, please get help in your local area.