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.
Little or nothing: “You know, I don’t think I need anything right now, I just feel better having gotten that off my chest.”
Venting has value. It relieves pressure. Even volcanoes know that. Some of us however hold it all in… which is toxic to our health, emotions and relationships. God made us as creatures of community. When we share what is inside with those on the outside, they can encourage, validate and empathize with us. Empathy and compassion are powerful tools to help regulate our souls, and as we take turns off loading each other’s heavy loads, we are bearing one another’s burdens. But, how can I help you if you hold it all in? Many an affair begins right here. When someone listens to our pain, shows care and compassion, experiences sadness with us, and shows compassion for our struggles, we find them attractive and we want to spend time with them. They did little to nothing, but it was powerful.
We then want to do it again…
Reassurance: “I need to hear from you that things will be OK, or that you will work on this or that you still really love me!”
Because we are all insecure in various ways, we need to know that things will be ok. We all get a little scared and need someone to smile at us and share that we will always have the prime spot in their heart. But most of us want that to happen without ever having to express our worries and fears. So we go on a fishing expedition to see if we can’t get some kind of words or behavior that will give us what we need. Sometimes it works, sometimes we come short. So, why not ask directly?
“You know, I’m feeling very insecure and vulnerable this week. I need some close time to feel reassured that you won’t leave me.”
“I need to hear that you care for me. An “I love you” from time to time would feel great… my mom and dad never said it to me.
“My friend’s husband just had an affair. Do you still feel content in our marriage?”
Questions like these and directly asking for reassurance can be satisfying and gratifying, yet we have to humble ourselves, lay aside our pride, show that we feel weak and ask. Sounds easy, but the first few times may prove to be difficult. Give it a try.. You’ll like it.
Next week we’ll look at the value of learning to tolerate disagreement and negotiating compromise for creating resolution that satisfies.
Thanks for listening,
Milan & Kay