What loving behavior looks like with Branch Isole – Love Vitamins for Relationships
Author, poet and storyteller Branch Isole writes and speaks about choice and consequence, accepting or avoiding personal responsibility, and the power of truth. Known worldwide, his contemporary short stories reveal issues and emotions often experienced, but not always voiced.With careers in teaching, corporate sales/marketing, and founder/partner of five small businesses, Branch is author of twenty-two books.
What does Branch do to build a healthier relationship?
- Open communication
Branch says if you can start and have those two things grow, then the conversation can be more open and honest and you can handle trouble situations where the rough spots are a little bit easier and when we hold it back, it comes out sooner or later.
An exercises to work on improving the communication with your partner?
Branch shares a beautiful practice for open communication – Make contact – Knees and hands; eyes locked
Start your conversation after you both sit in a chair facing your partner and sit knee to knee. Hold each other’s hands. You’re as close as you can get without in their space, i.e. without hugging. Look them in the eye. This contact gives you that intimacy, that when you’re far apart, is much easier to keep. When you have that physical distance, it’s much easier to keep that verbal distance as well. So you wanna make contact, knees and hands, eyes locked, and then you are at a place of intimacy that you can start to discuss, whatever the situation is.
Our takeaway: By creating this physical connection you’re creating an anchor for something that can be quite challenging to share somethings, like expressing our ideas, using our words. Sometimes, we arrive at the feeling state what our feelings are trying to communicate but then that journey that we take to express it using our words can be quite difficult and leave a lot of room for misinterpretation, which creates additional barriers for the conversations. In this practice you’re involving almost all your senses, by touching each other hands looking at each other, looking at each others eyes, and the proximity also activates your sense of smell which can lead to better listening overall. So it does open that space for vulnerability.
Who starts the conversation?
Branch shares more about what he and his wife do in their relationship.
“We’ve been together long enough now that we pretty well know each other and the things and the behaviors that we can expect. We both realize that we have strengths and we have weakness. So what we do is we try to get that 50 50, knowing that it can’t always be there, but we also know that in any given situation that we’re facing, one of us is strong than the other one. One of us has better skill sets to handle leading into the situation and finding resolution.”
He adds that by doing this practice they get closer to that 50 50 balance where what she’s saying has value for both of them because it’s something that both of them are trying to correct or change. This allows them to identify the problem quickly, put out some options for solution quickly and then they follow it up with their 24 hour rule.
24 hour rule
Branch and his wife set aside for at least 24 hours after they are finished talking about the situation in hand, after which they come back and re-engage. Branch shares on how this helps them, “we’re both in a better place mentally. We’ve had time to do other things that we need to do in our life. But when we come back, then we might have thought about it a little bit differently than what we would’ve said in the conversation. So we pick it back up 24 hours later and allows us to find a solution very, very quickly.”
How do you resolve conflict?
So what happens when there’s conflict, when you disagree on things on who has that strength, you both have different opinions on a matter. On how they resolve that and move past from that situation, Branch says, they ask a simple question, “is this a deal breaker?” He adds that unless you’ve done something so egregious to harm your partner the chances are that it’s not going to end the relationship, but we want to get away from that thought right out of the gate. And if it’s not a deal breaker, then talk about the problem. The sooner you can find the solution the better you become as partners and the faster and farther ahead you can move as partners.
3 Levels of Pain
Branch shares more about the different levels of pain and how a simple apology only addresses the first one. He says, “If you have harmed someone verbally or physically or doing something outside of your relationship, there’s three actual pain levels that are taking place.”
- Manifested act that has caused the pain
By saying, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, let’s move on” it only addresses this first level, which is the manifested act that’s caused the pain.
When the person who has been harmed feels betrayal, that first action of let’s move on isn’t gonna cut it. It’s not gonna help.
When we’ve committed some act that’s caused harm, we have betrayed the vow or the agreement that we’ve had between us as partners in the relationship. And when we’ve betrayed that by the action, we have caused a breach of trust.
7 R’s to Relationship Repair
Whether this is in an intimate relationship between partners, spouses, a relationship between parents and children, or a relationship at work, when there’s been a breach of trust, if that trust is never rebuilt, the likelihood is that relationship will never be rebuilt as before.
Branch shares the seven steps that a couple or people in relationships can use as an opportunity to address the issue and work towards finding a solution so that you can reconcile and repair the situation, repair the relationship. All it costs you is an investment of your time and your emotions.
- Recognize that you have harmed the other
- Take Responsibility for your actions
- Have Regret
- Have Remorse
To learn more about these steps and caveats, listen to the full episode.