I am not a fan of Thanksgiving - due to it's historical foundations in the oppression and misrepresentation of indigenous first peoples. The good thing is that our current celebration of the holiday is centered around a time for us to give thanks to those people or things in our life that mean the most to us (often forgotten in the daily shuffle). This includes ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us.
As I've talked about previously, our relationships are a significant part of who we are. We are social beings - and even the lack of a relationship is a relationship in and of itself. There is a tradition that many families, couples, and friends engage in when celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday - going around the table before dinner and giving an example of what they are thankful for. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to contemplate the following questions - they can bring you insight for yourself, and a closer connection with your partner(s).
NOTE: Some of these may not be appropriate for all family or friend gatherings... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider their answer!
Be thankful, be merry... and remember that Thanksgiving is just one day - a reminder.
This is the last in a three part series based on Gottman Method Couples Therapy that is scientifically proven to help your relationship. Read on!
Repair Negative Interactions
If you want to have a good relationship, you have to be able to come back from an argument or disagreement and still enjoy the company of your partner - dare I say, even continue to like spending time with them. Literally EVERY SINGLE RELATIONSHIP WILL HAVE FIGHTS OR DISAGREEMENTS. It is impossible not to. While fighting or arguing fair and respectfully is very important, it's what you and your partner do after the fight or disagreement that best describes how well the relationship will move on.
We often get our feelings hurt in fights - it's the nature of the game. However, do you believe that your partner wants to hurt you? Do you actually think they are going out of their way to make you feel bad and tear you down? If the answer to those questions is true, you may want to look at seeing a therapist, working on your trust and commitment, and then making your way through the lower levels of the Sound Relational House.
For most of us, we know that a fight is a fight, and what is said in an argument is not always 100% representative of what the other person is actually feeling, or what they actually think of you. This is something you need to focus on after the disagreement is finished. Gottman calls the process after a fight of repairing any damage as, "The Aftermath of a Fight or Regrettable Incident" and it includes steps to help process what happened.
There are six steps in the Aftermath of a Fight or Regrettable Incident process. They include:
You might find this handout helpful - it will help you understand each level and what to do in these stages.
I hope this was helpful for you and your relationship - feel free to give me a ring and set up an appointment if you want more direct services.
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