Restoring Relationships

Have you ever felt really hurt by someone’s words? Or angry about their behavior? 

When you feel angry or hurt, what do you see when you look at the “other” person? Do you only see the hurt or anger? Do you see an enemy? 

What if the “enemy” used to be a close friend or family member? What if you have never ever met the person before in your life? Does that matter? What do you do about restoring relationships?

When I discuss conflict resolution, people generally tell me one of two things, 1) it is easier to show empathy and compassion for close friends and family, or 2) I offer strangers more understanding.  

What is behind having more compassion and understanding for one group of people more than another? It generally falls into expectations. People may expect more from family or friends and less from strangers or vice versa. In my experience, people sometimes show different levels of compassion at work than at home, or with clients than colleagues.  

When I expect someone to behave a certain way, and the person does not, it may certainly be disappointing. What happens in that moment of disappointment tends to strengthen or weaken the relationship.  

When people share feelings and needs, listen and empathize, and take action to make amends, relationships may be restored. Sometimes, relationships grow even stronger.   

Failure to do so results in broken relationships temporarily or permanently.  

In some cultures, restorative practices are the norm. In recent decades, more and more communities offer restorative justice programs or circles to hold people accountable. The opportunity for the offender to see the impact on the victim with empathy restores the relationship.  

This requires no longer seeing someone as the enemy.  

What does restoring relationships mean to you? 

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Most widely known as Lonzo's human, mediator, speaker, and author Sherry Ann Bruckner works with leaders and organizations to create peace, resolve conflict, and transform visions into results.

From her twenty-plus years' experience practicing civil and family law, and her own personal experiences with silence and violence, Sherry Ann understands how much inner peace impacts outer peace. A graduate of Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law, she also studied conflict resolution at Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Sherry serves as a neutral on matters ranging from bias and employment discrimination to marriage dissolution and caring for aging parents. A speaker and trainer on the global stage, Sherry gives you and your audience practical skills and the confidence to use embrace your personal power to create peace. Through helping thousands of people navigate their way through conflict, and finding her own way to inner peace, she shares the transformational power of clarity, compassion, curiosity, and cribbage.

Visit to learn more or give her a call at (320) 808-3212.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.