This makes sense – we’re wired for connection. So when a connection feels strained with a colleague, spouse, child, parent, or friend, it can hold our attention hostage, leaving less space to engage elsewhere.
When you find yourself a part of strained relationship, consider four steps to reconnect and repair it going forward:
This is about you. Take objective, open, and curious pauses to reflect about what tripped your trigger or why dissonance is still apparent. Something deeper than the other person is usually at play here – what is it? Ask yourself, “What is going on here with me? Really?” (Read 3 Ways to tell if Someone is Avoiding the Truth to make sure you’re not avoiding some truth.)
2. Connect to Yourself
This is about your body. “Focusing on the internal life of the mind is often ignored in the hustle and bustle of everyday life,” says Dr. Daniel Siegel. After reflecting, review what happened in your body. What visceral affect did I experience? What were the thoughts floating around in my mind? Are they still with me now?
Using bodily responses to recognize the strain can help to calm the mind.
3. Go back to the Other Person
This is not about you. When your mind is completely calm, focus on the other person’s experience apart from your own. This can be difficult. Suspend judgment while listening to their story. Don’t speak up to defend yourself, just listen. There’s no judgment about who is right. Make sense of the encounter together. Practice vulnerability and allow your minds to meet in understanding.
4. Reflect again
This is about the bigger picture. In attempting to repair the relationship openly, objectively and as an observer, Dr Siegel states, “This is how the most challenging moments in our lives can become opportunities to deepen self-understanding and our connections with others.”
When you’re wired for connection, feeling connected with allow more space to for you to move freely and lovingly in all your relationships and give you greater focus on your tasks at hand.
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INspired Leadership Team
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