Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Repair

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Can you remember the last time you yelled (or spoke in a harsh tone) at a family member? Can you remember the last time you were crossed up with your partner or best friend? Can you remember the last time you snapped at a co-worker?

If you are anything like me it was sometime this week! We all have our moments, don't we of not speaking kindly or putting our best selves forward. There is no such thing as a perfect person doing the perfect things all the time. Thus, the necessary next step is a word that we can all relate to: repair.

Repair: the action of fixing or mending something.

Recently, I have learned about the work of Dr. Becky Kennedy a parent, teacher, psychologist specializing in helping parents have stronger relationships with their children (but truly her work applies to anyone in a relationship with another person).

In an April 2023 Ted Talk she offers up repair as the single most important tool in a relational tool box. We all yell. We all loose our cool. We all do things that we want to walk back, she says. But at the end of the day, we can rebound and grow, she offers, if we lean into repair.

For in repair making, you SHOW your desire to be connected well beyond your temporary blunders.

Kennedy says, "Repair is really the act of going back to a moment that didn't feel good, taking responsibility, reconnecting and making a plan for going forward. You can change the ending of a story. It's not the yelling that messes up a kid [or person]. It's the lack of repair after."

Simply put: you have to be brave enough to talk about the stuff that it would be easier to pretend didn't happen. You have to be brave enough to give voice to the unhappy feelings. You have to be proactive in re-connecting heart-to-heart.

Of course, this doesn't mean that every relationship will be restored after a breakdown, but it like the old saying goes, you never know till you try!

I don't know about you, but repair often gifts my closest relationships with more closeness.

Such might sound crazy (because repairing is hard work and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!) but when heels are dug in and hearts come together to say to one another, "I love you enough to be uncomfortable and to figure this out " you know it's the real deal.

So this week, who do you need to call? Who do you need to invite to lunch? With what person do you need to linger longer in a conversation to get to that subject?

We never stop doing repair. It's a life-long journey, if we accept it, to repair and repair some more!



P.S. Interested in learning more about specific steps you can take in repair? Here's more from Dr. Becky Kennedy on this here.