The people that we love the most, can hurt us the most! Intimate relationships, family, colleagues, close friends; these relationships bring great joy and also opportunity for offense.
Sometimes there are grievances and pain that need unpacked and healed, and other times they need to be let go!
Here are 3 simple tools to help you take an “unoffended” stance with a partner when there is not a true grievance to hash out!
How do I know if the situation is one to let go? One way to try and tease apart true issues in a relationship is looking at intentions. Did my partner say that so I would feel—— insert your feeling——————? Did they want me to feel pain? Did they want me to feel shame? If the answer is no, then you most likely have an opportunity to practice being unoffended!!
My partner was dismissive of my experience and it created deep feelings of shame in me. I have decided on my own, or they communicated to me, that this was not their intention. To be unoffended I must own MY OWN EMOTION!
I can own my emotion by taking a moment to breathe in the emotion and let it pass like a cloud. I want to avoid creating a new problems. I want to avoid creating negative tapes and comments in my mind that will take my feeling of shame and feed it hulk juice. For example, “I am shameful and even my spouse can’t stand me.” Or, “I deserve to feel this way because I am such a bad person.” These are unhealthy patterns to work on in our own self. Not created by the offensive comment.
After breathing in the emotion and letting it out (along with any needed self care that goes with that) we bring our focus back to the comment that started this off. Let the words be left behind along with the emotion that joined and take an unoffended stance. This can be reinforced with affirmative statements for example:
“I felt hurt by my partner saying that I never think about her perspective. I can work on that and we can still be close.”
“I felt shame when my partner said I am always selfish. It is hard to feel overwhelmed and I feel loved even though he said that.”
Create your own affirmations that match your personality.
Once the dust has settled and you have validated what your experience was you have the opportunity to move on unoffended. The best part about that is there is no wreckage left behind! No apologies for lashing out! No repair work for the cruel things you said back to even the score!
*These tips are useful in relationships that are safe and balanced with mutual respect. There are times to address repetitive hurtful patterns or unacceptable behaviors. These tips are intended to assist through those interactions that don’t require escalation*