Many people, when they’re involved in a conflict, are focused on getting away from the pain of the situation. They’re focused on “Let’s make this stop. Let’s make this feeling we’re having and this event that we’re having stop because it’s too painful or unpleasant.” As soon as that’s done, they’re dusting their hands off and going “Okay, yay, we’re done and we can move on.” BUT, that leaves the underlying causes unresolved. If you delve into it further, breakdowns are an opportunity for breakthroughs.
When there is a breakdown in the relationship, if we ask “What’s the foundation for this? Where is this coming from? What’s driving the feelings?” then we can begin to address the cause. We can acknowledge what we’re really upset about if it’s different or in addition to what was obvious. Now we have a chance to talk about what’s going on and discover what unacknowledged or unresolved hurt or anger is driving the interaction. We can make agreements about what we’re going to do if this happens again around the same issue.
As a result, we’ve improved the quality of our relationship and we’ve built a stronger foundation. The likelihood that things are going to come up again around that particular root cause is much lessened. When it does, we’re going to be much more able to handle it effectively.