The Power of Repair: 5 Factors for Reconnecting in Your RelationshipsNovember 10, 2021 ● 32 min
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Over the past several weeks, we have been discussing topics related to relationships and learning to reframe our perspectives through scripture and communication skills.
I have titled today’s episode, “The Power of Repair” because when it comes to the important relationships in our lives, repairing is one of the most powerful skills to maintain unity, increase intimacy, and build lasting connections.
Although I briefly touched on the topic of conflict resolution in communication in other episodes, today, I want to dive deeper into the psychological benefits of practicing relational repair and provide some practical ways to foster the biblical commission of forgiveness.
Conflict, hurt, misunderstandings, differing personalities and different perspectives all play a part in the way we interact with each other. If you have been to therapy or explored your family patterns in some way, you will learn how much our current patterns have been impacted by the perspectives and experiences of our early childhood. With this in mind, we must go back to go forward. By understanding our early connective experiences, we can reframe our current functioning and create a foundation for healthy interactions.
What we cover in this episode:
1. Attachment theory – what it is, who pioneered the concept, and how knowing our attachment style helps us understand how we approach relationships and how to foster healthy bonds with others.
2. Why one of the most important secure attachment skills we can engage in is Repair – and how to practice repair in your relationships. The absence of repair fuels resentments and distrust.
Here is the problem: Many of us have not learned to repair. Our family’s rules and roles within our given systems are at times unhealthy and leave us with a damaged view of how to communicate our needs, wants, feelings, and hurts.
But believe it or not, even in our fighting and arguments, we are subconsciously seeking repair and reconnection:
Here is a great example I use a lot with my clients:
Say your spouse or friend says something like, “You never make time for me anymore” or Your child says, “You don’t pay attention to me.”
Oftentimes, we respond in defense of ourselves without hearing the underlying messages-
You never make time for me is really - “I miss you and desire to connect with you”
You don't pay attention to me is really - “See me, love me, attune to me”
Our attachment behaviors often reflect that of our child-like behaviors from either aggressive tantrums or silence that speaks volumes. We communicate in one form or another our desire for connection.
Five factors that foster reconnection:
1. Time - Timing is everything. Giving time to respond and accept repairs and not allowing time to be used as a punishment or way to remain disconnected.
In Proverbs 12:18 we read, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
“You must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:25-27;29).
2. Self-awareness - Triggers and tendencies need to be named so that we enter a repair with knowledge of our patterns.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God, and that no root of bitterness springs up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15
3. Perspective - Taking responsibility for a part of the problem and seeking to understand others’ perspectives.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” - Matthew 5:23-24
4. Acceptance- How we respond to repairs and rejection is important.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with hearts of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with one another and forgive any complaint you may have against someone else. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. “ Colossians 3:12-13
5. Ritual - Find a ritual that helps you feel connected - Hugs, hand holding, eye contact, words etc.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
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