You Repeat What You Don’t Repair

There has been a lot of joy in traveling, laughing at fart jokes, sorrow over loved ones passing away, and loving our kitties over the 18 years that G and I have been together. But there have also been things that he would say or do that left me feeling a bit perturbed at times, like leaving cabinet doors open or using “book words.” That’s when G would say a five dollar word that I don’t know the meaning of when a basic word would have sufficed. Of course things aren’t always peachy keen, and when there has been conflict, my responses definitely haven’t been constructive. Quite often, Mount St. Amy would blow and I would spew out whatever fuckery came to mind in the heat of the moment.

Logically, I knew better than to blow up. So why wasn’t I doing better? Simple. I didn’t want to. At that moment. Of course I regretted my emotional vomit later. But in those heated moments I didn’t give a fuck. All the logic in the world didn’t matter if I lacked the intention to do better during an argument.

We have a tendency to respond to hostile behavior with even more hostility. Whether that’s giving someone the silent treatment, giving them a taste of their own medicine, or cussing someone out (if you want a cussin’ I’ll give you a cussin’! 😉) These actions can create a cycle of anger, judgment, and defensiveness. Often it leads to conflicts that spiral out of control, making them harder to resolve. This level of hostility is destructive, yet we’re all guilty of it at some point, and have probably felt justified in doing so. To get past conflict, we need to want to understand each other more than we want to hurt each other.

In the middle of an argument we may feel the need to defend ourselves, especially if we feel the other person isn’t hearing what we are saying or is dismissive of our feelings. So often we listen to respond instead of listening to understand. It can seem like the other person has the power to hurt us, making us feel insecure. I don’t like how vulnerable I feel when someone says something that is hurtful or disrespectful towards me. It makes me want to retaliate against the MFer. Is that mature? Noop. Helpful? Absolutely not. Does it feel good to use every derivative of the F word in one sentence? Aww hell yeah!

I want my relationships to be made of trust, honesty, and transparent communication. Relationships where we each have the courage to express ourselves without fear of retaliation and would listen to each other with an intent to understand rather than judge. One where we would have compassion for each other’s faults and work to build each other up rather than tear each other down, even when we are upset.

I know that my current responses to conflicts are…shall we say…shitty. So I am trying to shift my intention. Instead of protecting my ego during an argument, my intention is to respond in a constructive way. It requires me opening up when I feel vulnerable. Taking responsibility for my part, even when I want to dump the blame on the other person. Trying to listen with compassion when I feel frustrated or fed up. I don’t want to stay in the vicious cycle of trying to prove who is right and who is wrong. After all, you repeat what you don’t repair.

3 thoughts on “You Repeat What You Don’t Repair

    1. Yes lashing out definitely leads nowhere in an argument. It’s hard to suppress that initial reaction. But it’s important to me to work on that in order to have meaningful relationships with people.

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