I wonder if I you have ever experienced this:
My daughter has often said something along the lines of, ”You are the worst,” “I hate you,” or “You suck” after I made a minor comment (sometimes even just from smiling the wrong way).
When this first starting happening I was confused, sad and angry. I hadn’t done anything wrong, why was she attacking me? I was focusing or – let’s be honest – harping on why she had said these words to me. I was picking my behavior apart, in addition to her response and anything else I could get my analyzing mind around.
The thing I learned quickly was that there was never a clear answer. If I focused on the “why?” I would often miss out on the best part of the whole interaction. Always, minutes or hours later, my daughter would come over and say, “ I love you” with her words, her hugs or her smile. She would come back from the rupture in our connection and re-connect.
This coming back together is what our family now call: p.s. I love you.
No matter how mad someone we love gets at us we always have the choice to focus on the content of their anger or look for the moment where they come back to us to connect. I believe in the need to express our anger and frustration clearly to the other person. But, we need to also keep our eyes open for the moments after we argue and when we come back together.
So many of my clients have this experience in relationships, at work and with their kids. They feel so taken in and upset by the rupture that they miss the moments of repair.
The key takeaway: When we focus only on the fight, we miss the making up.
Expert Tip: Notice how different it feels the next time you have a fight with someone you love if you know in your heart that the p.s. I love you is coming, and you actually welcome it.
Let’s chat in the comments about a time when you noticed someone coming to you with a p.s. I love you. We all learn from each other.