Have you caused hurt in your relationship? Here are three things you can do to begin repair.
- Seek to understand. Honor the other person’s perspective, and be open to learning the meaning the event had for them. Say, “I’m here for you. Help me understand what you’re going through.”
- Stay out of denial. Saying, “I didn’t mean to hurt you,” in a defensive tone doesn’t take away the sting. Recognize you are capable of hurting each other unintentionally because of the close bond you share. Validate that their feelings matter so they know you get it. Say, “Thank you for telling me this. I love you and I don’t want to hurt you.”
- Take responsibility for what you have done that was hurtful. The injury may have been stacked on something they went through during childhood. Although that’s not your fault, it provides you with an opportunity to help them heal by showing them understanding and compassion. Say, “I am sorry. What do you need? How can I do better?”
If repair language makes you uncomfortable, you may not have felt safe in your relationship or in your childhood. Your ARI therapist is trained to help you assess and develop physical and emotional safety.