Archive for February 28, 2019

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WANT TO RECONCILE   4 comments

First: true confessions. Sometimes I wish I had never started this blog. Why? Because I find it hard to get to. It seems sometimes like obstacles just hop in my way, like a computer game where things pop up that I have to knock over or shoot down. (Actually, that’s what I get to see and do on the stationary bike I try to ride everyday.) Most recently, it’s a problem with my billing system for which I first sought the aid of a techie a few days ago, and we’re still playing tag with each other trying to follow through.

Oh well, here it is. I hope it’s helpful.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WANT TO RECONCILE

APPLY JENNIE’S RULE:  “Always put the best construction on all your neighbor’s actions.”

You probably wouldn’t be seeking reconciliation in the first place if you didn’t see something positive in the person you’re working with, but don’t’ come up with your own answer and assume you’re right about how he or she feels (or felt). Don’t assume you’re wrong either – unless you know for sure that you are. Chances are you are two fallible people, because that’s what human beings are.

MAKE IT A TWO-WAY CONVERSATION

Create an opportunity to let the other person know how you felt about what was going on and be equally sure there’s a place to hear the other side of the story. Don’t issue an invitation that will shame or anger the other person. Try something like “I miss you. Could we get together and talk?” or maybe, in an e-mail, “Could we have lunch together next Friday?”

And find a comfortable and neutral place to do it – preferably away from both your homes – like a back booth in a restaurant, or a park bench. Somewhere that will help keep expressions of anger under control and neither one of you will possess location control.

Before making your reconciliation move, be sure you know what you hope for as a result. Do you want to call off the divorce? Or have lunch together on occasion in the future? Maybe just feel comfortable riding the bus together? Or feel that you’ll be able to enjoy eating Thanksgiving dinner with the family. You don’t need to announce your goal at the beginning –or even at the end – of the discussion. But know when you are satisfied that you are both feeling better about the whole thing – or at least you are.

AVOID BLAMING THE OTHER PERSON

Don’t start out with something like, “I’m trying to figure out why you didn’t see that what you were doing was wrong.” And don’t start out with, “I know I did something wrong, but so did you.” “Wrong” is not a positive word. Not only does it imply blame, but also it just plain creates a negative atmosphere – and may give the other person an opportunity to latch on to what you did wrong, or get defensive, either reaction interfering with an open discussion.

AVOID BLAMING YOURSELF

Don’t start out with a focus on you. That could be a conversation closer, as the other person might reply something like, “Oh, that’s (meaning ‘You’re’) the problem.” Or you might get a sympathetic reaction like, “That’s OK. Don’t feel bad about it. I’ve already forgiven you.” A good reconciliation discussion requires paying attention to both sides, listening carefully to each other, and searching for the positive in what each has to say.

IN OTHER WORDS, AVOID BLAME IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM!

DESCRIBE YOUR CONCERN

Be honest about what is bothering you, and then expect the same from the other person.

COMMIT YOURSELF TO FOLLOW THROUGH AND DON’T EXPECT IT TO BE EASY

ANTICIPATE HOW YOU’LL FEEL AFTER IT’S DONE

Like preparing for an important test or interview, picturing how good you’ll feel when it’s over can be relaxing — stress-reducing.

AND I’LL COMMIT TO FOLLOWING THRUGH WITH A SEGMENT ON FORGIVING SOMEONE WHO’S GONE — MAYBE THROUGH DEATH. I HOPE IT WON’T TAKE ME TOO LONG TO GET THERE.

Posted February 28, 2019 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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