Words matter a lot.
There are words that heal us after a conflict, and then there are words that activate our defenses even more.
This is real stuff you guys .. and it is a skill we can all absolutely learn if we want to.
And let me add .. this is a practice.
Learning our partner and what works to soothe them is very specific to their wounds.
Each of us has a hidden treasure chest of words and gestures that unlocks our heart after we have been hurt.
Each of us has pain points that need to be addressed and validated in a gentle way in order to create connection and safety again.
If our perspective has been invalided over and over again .. we may need our logic validated after a fight.
If our feelings have been dismissed .. we may need our feelings prioritized and cared for.
Whatever we require, emotion has to be included in the equation in order for it to register as a healthy repair.
Logic can help ground us to safety .. but it doesn’t create the emotional atmosphere we need to re-connect with our partner after a fight.
We are (emotional beings) after all.
Some of us may also prefer a soothing touch, or loving facial expression over words.
That’s totally fine.
This is not a one size fits all kind of thing.
We each get to find what works for us.
We each get to learn how to communicate the hidden keys of our heart to our partner so we don’t keep those treasures to ourselves.
My personal favorite phrase that always comforts me is “your feelings matter to me.”
It always has been that one.
It gives me permission to feel my range of feelings without feeling judged, especially when it is expressed through a caring heart.
It breaks through my defenses and makes me feel deeply seen and embraced by my partner.
What works for you?
What kind of presence, or phrase, or touch do you need to feel safe and connected after a conflict?
P.S. My practical communication program offers tools to help you communicate more effectively when you become triggered. It helps you get beneath your defense so that you don’t end up pushing your partner away when you are hurting. You can get my program here.