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Stop Hijacking My Relationship Complaint

November 4, 2019 at 10:21 AM

Hijacking airplanes, trains, and ships …. That is relatively infrequent these days!!!

Hijacking Relationship Complaints, well that is another story.

Many people are not paying any attention to who makes a relationship complaint first, and they give a defensive response.   I call this jumping over the Relationship Repair Counter.  Instead of staying behind the Metaphorical Relationship Repair Counter, the person who hears a relationship complaint about their behavior or personality flaw jumps over the counter and files their own complaint.

Except no one is behind the Relationship Repair Counter.  Everyone is at the Counter filing complaints and no one is listening… quite literally.

One of my couples started calling this problem “hijacking” each other complaints, which I thought was a hilarious metaphor. (I told them I was going to write a blog post about it). And it’s so true…

For example, let’s say my husband complains about how I am no longer cooking delicious Nebraska farmer’s daughter type dinners like I used to because I am growing my business.  He misses those regular meatloaf and mashed potatoes kind of dinners!

Imagine if I were to hijack his complaint and hold him hostage to my own counter-complaint, let’s say I start complaining about how I don’t have time to cook because he is not helping me enough with the kid’s homework. (***None of this is true by the way, this is only a pretend example…)

Now he feels helpless and as if I don’t even care about his concern.  I have hijacked his complaint and am filing my own complaint at the Relationship Repair Counter.

However, imagine what happens if I don’t hijack his complaint…

Instead, I listen and say, “You’re right, I haven’t been cooking as much lately.  I miss being able to do that.  What do you think would fix that?”

This is proper complaint resolution, and he would probably suggest that we pay for some other service that is less important so I will have time to cook at least a couple times per week.  Great, now that’s resolved and there was no hijacking, no defensiveness, no fighting…

Make sense?

If you or your family member is in the habit of hijacking complaints and your complaint resolution needs some help, please Reach Out to one of our Relationship Repair Associates today…

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