#1607 Areté +1° #172: Repairing Relationships

A Key Practice for Optimizing the Love in Our Lives

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, a micro-chapter from Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

451 of my all-time favorite big ideas, including this one…


Leading mindfulness (and neuroscience and relationship) expert Dan Siegel tells us that when something inevitably goes wrong in a relationship we want to REPAIR it as quickly as we can.

One of the examples he uses to make his point is a story about a time when he, Mr. Mindfulness, “flipped his lid,” turning off his prefrontal cortex and going full limbic-brain, yelling at one of his kids.

I laughed as I typed that as (a) It’s always refreshing to see a world-class teacher and practitioner humbly reminding us that no one is perfect and (b) I very much know the feeling as the father of very energetic ten and six-year-olds.

So, we have an interaction that we’re not proud of.

Then what?

Then, you REPAIR the relationship as quickly as you can.

Something like: “Wow. I got really impatient / loud / fill-in-the-blank. I flipped my lid! I want you to know I’m sorry and that I love you and that I’m committed to getting a little better at handling those challenging moments in the future.”

* insert potential hug *

We don’t want those little micro-moments of negativity to stew into jumbo-resentments and unhealthy cauldrons of ick.

Take a deep breath. Drop into your heart. Label the emotion. Dan says: name it to tame it.

Use whatever tool you need to as you regain your equanimity. And then repair.

+1° check in…

Any repairs waiting for you?

Get on that.


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