Melissa Allen


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Leaning back in after a conflict

Today we are talking about:

How to lean in after conflict 

So you know what it is like: It may have been a fight with a partner or a conflict with a friend. It may be a rupture with a work colleague or a neighbor.
You started out with all the best intentions. You started out with a soft start up. You chose your words carefully… and it lands flat.
Even worse, the shit hits the fans and a conflict erupts.
Or even worse, they stonewall you and don’t talk.

In this moment, when you don’t know what to do. Let’s talk about THAT moment.
Step 1 – Self care – Support yourself with tools to regulate your own nervous system. This can often involve tuning into your 5 senses and your breath.

Step 2 – Determine if this relationship matters to you and if you feel invested in its repair.

Step 3 – Think about “what is it I feel?” and “what is it I need?” for this to move forward.


Step 4 – If you feel calm and have decided the relationship is important to repair and have determined what it is that you feel and need, then you could try a “feedback sandwich” for this person.
The 3 steps in this are: Validate (the other person), Share what you feel and need, make a request moving forward.

A cheat sheet looks like this:

“Since our last conversation I noticed that things have fallen flat between us/still feel tricky. I imagine that you walked away from that chat feeling….[insert descriptive words about how they may be feeling – validation]. 
 Even though it feels vulnerable to lean into this conversation with you. I want you to know my intention is to try and repair this with you rather than fight.
Since that chat I have been feeling …..[Insert your own feelings] and what I would really like is ….[insert what you are needing] so could it be possible for us to….[insert request].


The repair after a conflict is more important than the rupture itself.

It takes effort and energy to recover after a fall out. It takes two regulated humans to manage their own emotions, not project their reactions onto the other and to sit in the discomfort of the repair process in order to grow a relationship.
If the relationship matters to you, it’s worth the work.

You keep asking and each Wednesday, I will answer.
Warmly on Wednesday,


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