So many people who come into my offices simply have never experienced resolution that satisfies.
Whether it was their Family of Origin (FOO) as a child …or within adult relationships…
conversations seem to leave them always feeling…
When this happens over and over, we’re left with an empty fuel tank and the needle in the red zone on the pressure tank.
There are many different possibilities for creating successful resolution and each of them puts fuel in our tank or relieves pressure when it becomes excessive. With the key guiding question, “What do you need right now?” the following list provides some clear options that can be chosen to meet the need within the speaker’s soul.
Ownership: “I need you to admit and own the problem, infraction or mistake.”
In our first Family of Origin, our parents Adam and Eve made mistakes that were final and fatal (Genesis 3). We suffer still today from the consequences of their transgression (Romans 5). We’re just like them in that we become fearful, hide ourselves and blame others for problems that develop.
It is refreshing and relieving when we hear someone say:
“You know, that was my fault.”
“I dropped the ball on this one.”
“My attitude was stinky, may we start over?”
“I failed to do what I promised to do.”
“I’m worried about my work and I’m irritable with you and the kids.”
When we own our stuff, it defuses tensions immediately. It gives people hope and instead of them having to deal with hurt and the need to convince you that you had wronged them, they simply deal with forgiving you… which is so much easier when we preemptively own our missteps.
Forgiveness: “I need a well thought through forgiveness statement and an apology.”
Many times, simple ownership is enough to repair relational ruptures. Other times when the infraction is bigger, a purposeful forgiveness statement is required to display humility and appeal for mercy. Remember, resolution is the fourth step in the comfort circle and both ownership and forgiveness should only come after the wounded partner has been thoroughly listened to in step three.
It is relieving and filling to hear someone say:
“You know, after listening to you, I more fully realize how not asking you your opinion is a real trigger into your own child hood where you were never listened to. No one ever asked you your opinion on anything. They ignored you. I’m so sorry. I see now how my going ahead and making this purchase without checking with you first, brought up old feelings of neglect and unimportance. I didn’t do it the right way, next time I’ll work harder at being more considerate to see that your opinion is considered. Are there any other ways you feel I don’t see you? (Expand the discussion here.) Well now I really see my shortcomings and how they hurt you. Will you forgive me?
This is what I call a purposeful forgiveness statement. It’s worth its weight in gold.
Next week we’ll look at the value of venting and the need for reassurance in relieving pressure and filling our little fuel tanks.
Thanks for listening,
Milan & Kay