Relationship Minute: Owning It

Think back to the last argument you had with your partner.

It’s probably easy to remember what your partner did or said that was wrong, but have you considered where you were at fault?

Did you forget to use a soft start-up when bringing a sensitive topic to the table? Did you slip into criticism in the heat of the moment?

Taking responsibility for your part in the escalation of an argument can be difficult. However, it’s one of the most important things you can do both in and after a conflict. Owning it looks like: “I shouldn’t have shouted” or “I could have listened to you closely when you shared how you felt.” You acknowledge what you did and how you could have done it differently.

So, don’t just say “sorry” and assume you both moved on. Be specific and intentional by owning your role in the conflict. It is the key to unlocking long-lasting connection with your partner.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.