What does strength look like to you? I find it means different things to different people at different times.
Most recently, there seems to be much talk about the varying strength of Simone Biles and Kerry Strug. What if strength carries more than one meaning? Strength may be both physically pushing forward or letting go. Decisions involve mental and emotional strength as well.
Sometime strength involves doing what others expect. Other times it may involve not doing what others expect.
In many relationships, there seems to be a similar dichotomy between leaving and staying. One spouse, a sibling, or even friends sometimes choose to stay in a challenging relationship, and another may say, “I’m done. It’s over.”
People generally take more time than the short time between vaults to contemplate the decision whether to press forward or step back. Despite that time, someone may still question or criticize the decision. Judging someone’s decisions rarely helps anyone. Leaning in with curiosity and compassion to understand typically helps.
Humans generally make the best decisions they can at the time with the information they have. Both staying in and leaving a relationship take different types of strength. Knowing differently in hindsight, one might have chosen another way. There is no need to judge the choice. We can always make a new choice based upon new understanding.
Understanding depends upon the quality of communication. A mediator helps people talk with each other in a more constructive way. While in the thick of an argument, it may be easy to get stuck in the past, and forget the goal (which in relationships tends to be a desire to feel closer.) Mediation and coaching both tend to be future-focused.
Mediation is not just for folks going through divorce or custody disputes. Married couples or families who have a goal of remaining together or reestablishing a relationship may also participate in mediation. Whether it helps people stay together, or separate more civilly, mediation may help open the lines of communication.
Would you like to feel closer to the people around you? Would you like to set clear boundaries? Classes that include non-violent communication (NVC) skills, such as Communicating for Couples or Connective Communication, may also be beneficial.
The conflict resolution and communication muscles could always use a little more strength. Let’s find a training program right for you.