Damage control: The healing balm in relationships
It is impossible to have a relationship without conflicts because a relationship isn’t about angels but about imperfect human beings with different backgrounds, temperaments and sexuality.
This means all lovers, including those in happy relationships, fight.
What is important isn’t how often you fight but what you do after the fight. One healthy way to revitalise your relationship is through damage control.
What you must know
Damage control is a measure taken to offset or minimise damage to reputation, credibility or public image caused by wrong remarks or actions. It is about your positive acts to make a bad result of something as minimal as possible.
Damage control doesn’t mean the damage never existed or will never happen again. It also doesn’t mean you are the innocent or guilty party. It simply means the damage no longer controls you or your relationship. It is an effective way to heal your relationship after a fight.
Some ways to damage control
Resolve your differences. Find a good time and place to discuss your issues. Choose words of hope, love and affirmation to maintain a connection. Use humour to ease tension. Brainstorm and apologise even if the issue may not be entirely your fault. Forgive each other unconditionally.
Always appreciate that positive words calm anger, provide encouragement, give happiness and generate warmth and appreciation.
Find time to be together. Time together promotes bonding. Therefore, share a meal and go out often. Hold hands, touch each other often and have sex often because it is the deepest form of communication and strongest glue in a relationship. Physical touch is an asset for calming anxiety, alleviating stress and depression. It improves emotional and physical health.
Send gifts often. Gifts are expressions of love. They create goodwill, dispel hurts and increase intimacy. As you give your lover feels loved, cherished and accepted. Your gifts need not be expensive, it is the idea behind it that matters.
Therefore, let your gifts be regular, simple and spontaneous, especially those your lover finds memorable or intimate. The best gift you can give to your lover however is the sacrifice you do to make your lover better.
Prioritise the needs of your lover. A man’s topmost needs are respect, sex, attractive wife and domestic care (good cooking and taking good care of the home.)
A woman’s topmost needs are affection, companionship, commitment to the relationship and social security. If you focus on meeting the topmost needs of your lover, chances are, you minimise, if not completely eliminate the harmful effects of your conflicts.
Perfection is not possible
From time to time, all lovers fight, put up emotional walls and mess up things in the relationship. Expect this in your relationship because we are all imperfect human beings in relationships where perfection is not possible.
You may hurt each other in many ways but brace yourself up to restore your relationship no matter what happens. Sometimes you can’t control what happens in your relationship but you can challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what happens. Recovery must be your goal and damage control, your tool.
Damage control is demanding work. Studies show it takes up to five to seven positive comments or actions to make up for a single negative comment or action. But never give up. Instead, do whatever you need to do to repair emotional injury with prompt loving actions.
Make sure your mistakes do not go unaddressed thereby increasing the risk of resentment or contempt. Commit yourself in loving ways to show each other that you are in mutually fulfilling and loving relationship, one that works by putting your lover first by the sacrifices you make for your lover, especially during crisis.
Damage control is a healing balm enhanced by increased care, ongoing compassion and the continual attempts to reconnect to your lover. Keep going and when the road gets tough, use damage control as your balm and keep moving on to enjoy the amazing benefits of true love.
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Dr John Boakye