“I’d rather be uncomfortable with the truth than to be lied to in comfort.” ~Jesse Ventura
Uncomfortable (adj.); causing or feeling slight pain or physical discomfort.
It’s interesting that this definition quantifies the pain we experience when we’re uncomfortable as slight instead of severe. And it’s distinguishable because we believe people are usually innately equipped to navigate “slight” pain on their own but will defer to others or seek outside support when it comes to “severe” pain. Just think about how often you’d self-treat a paper cut or sore muscles but you’ll instinctively seek medical attention for more severe lacerations or broken bones.
Well just like you can easily navigate the process toward the physical healing of a paper cut or the easing of sore muscles; we believe you can readily navigate the process toward healing some emotional pain and discomfort too. Even if you’re the one who caused the pain and discomfort to yourself or to others.
Did you know that relationships are the ideal space to work through various types of pain and discomfort? Yes, it’s true. We believe relationships are the perfect ecosystem for healing because they provide ideal coverage while the process evolves.
Moreover, within the confines of a relationship, you’ll inevitably find uncomfortable and painful situations that’ll require all parties to engage in some type of uncomfortable conversations that can steer them toward healing.
That’s why we believe the best way to get to healing within relationships is to start right in the middle of the pain. To start with a couple who is willing to sit in the uncomfortableness of the pain for just a moment; and then begin the work toward healing.
Unfortunately many of us aren’t taught how to have uncomfortable conversations that ultimately lead to health and healing with our relationship partner. Instead whenever one person does something that causes pain, whether intentional or not, the other partner’s reflexive response to this hurt is to lash out and attack.
Here we offer an alternative to this traditional response. We offer tools that are grounded in LOVE Leadership, a common practice in our work. Instead of lashing and attacking one another, we challenge couples to engage in an interactive conversation that’s designed to guide them both back to health and healing.
The WhenLoveWorks’ (WLW) 4As for leading uncomfortable conversations.
These tools guide either partner to transform pain into an opportunity of health and healing. So don’t be shy; jump in and lead the conversation.
Be open to this non-traditional 4 step process:
See the pain you caused or the pain that your partner caused. Acknowledge it aloud to your partner. Then Address the result of the pain you’ve perpetrated or pause for your partner to address the pain that was inflicted upon you. During this step it’s important to remove all emotion from the conversation. After that, Apologize for the pain you caused or pause for an apology from your partner. Finally, and this may be the most challenging step because it involves self-work, share how you’ll be Accountable going forward or ask your partner to share how he/she will be accountable. Be specific here. Share details of how to avoid repeating this pain.
Ultimately if you desire to thrive in a healthy relationship, you’ll have to engage in some uncomfortable conversations. So regardless of how common it is to use “lash out” methods to engage your partner whenever pain has entered the relationship; resist the temptation to lash out. Instead implement the WLWs 4As for leading uncomfortable conversations and watch how you transform pain into health within your relationship.
WhenLoveWorks, you’re comfortable with being uncomfortable, even when it’s difficult, because you believe the life-long rewards are worth the temporary discomfort. ~Cullen & Elitia Mattox