WOH: Relational Tipping Points
My husband Shann and I have been talking a lot about the criticism/defensiveness cycle and how insightful it is for relational health. I have found it valuable in my relationships lately. If I find that a person is defensive in my requests or attempts at connection, I follow the trail to where I have been critical.
Typically, I am oblivious to my critiques.
Dad and I went through a few rotations of this cycle. For a while, anything I talked to him about was met with his defensiveness. I was shocked because historically I could push him very hard on something without any defensiveness.
During this particular relational season, a small comment would trigger a defensive reaction. Dad had reached a threshold where my criticalness had built up to a tipping point. I see this so often in many family relationships. The overload of negative sentiment has created drag on the relationship.
Seeing my dad defensive for the first time shocked me. It woke me up to the realization he feels judged and criticized by me. I made a plan to encourage him, spend more loving time together, eliminate any judgments or confrontational topics and build a space of greater peace and friendship.
I am grateful for this easy rubric to bring health to relationships. I pray for more sensitivity to notice before a friendship gets to a tipping point.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32