Repairing a Wrong is Key to Success within Relationships –at Work and Home

Put on then…compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

–Colossians 3:12-14

Being Forgiving with Kindness because I care about the hearts and minds within others, I forgive because I too am forgiven.

2 Truths

If one were to pause and think successful relationships mean they never have a conflict, they would be mistaken.

  1. The truth is every relationship has conflict. How is that for a great thought, yikes, who wants that? Not very many people! Most people want peace, harmony, and happiness, and when they don’t get peace, harmony, and happiness that they want conflict happens.
  2. The truth is that relationships are set up for failure. Dr. Gottman, In the book, The Science of Trust, explains that both partners in a relationship are emotionally available, only 9% of the time leaving 91% ripe for miscommunication. It’s impossible to be emotionally available to your partner, to your family, to your colleagues, 100% of the time.

In good relationships, marriage, family, workplace, no matter how careful a person is, they will inevitably rupture the bond. Even in good relationships, people can:

Repairing means no blaming. It means forgiving and overlooking.

The key to success in relationships, therefore, is not determined by whether or not conflict happens, because it will. The key to success is when conflict occurs to repair the wrong one has caused. Repairing means no blaming. It means forgiving and overlooking. It means taking ownership of my part of the conflict without pointing out the fault in anyone else how relationships at work and home repair are what separates the relationship Masters from the Disasters.

According to data by the Ameican Psychiatric Association:

  • Employees with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity
  • Contributing to a loss to the US economy of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism
  • Reducing productivity
  • Increasing medical costs
  • Creating more significant burdens for leaders, at work, and home

Whether at work or home, good relationships do the same things unhealthy relationships do. However, instead of avoiding and not talking about what happened, they forgive with kindness by coming back together and talking about it. After physiological effects from heightened blood pressure settles due to flipping one’s lid, individuals have an easier time meeting back up to repair and recover from the conflict. Each party should share their responsibility for their part in the conflict. Attunement builds emotional trust, an understanding that their relationship is more important than the problem so they can begin the process of being forgiving with kindness.

According to the Gottman Institute, friendship is vital to a good repair attempt.

Three essential principles to practice often from The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,

Principle 1: Enhance Love Maps – getting to know others better, share stories, and remembering the story shared.

Principle 2: Express Fondness and Admiration – let others know how much I care and support them. That I am proud of them, lift others up, and be encouraging.

Principle 3: Turn toward each other instead of away – notice and respond to other’s bids for emotional connection and attention – Look in each other’s eyes.

• Ask and validate other’s opinions.
• Laugh at other’s jokes.
• Hold hands.
• Practice a daily a six-second kiss (not recommended for work:)— answer other’s questions with kindness.


Here’s to being a blessing by forgiving and repairing!

Some parts of this article were originally published on Verily and edited here from its original version.


Sara Thingvold
Sara Thingvold
Sara Thingvold, MCLC, ACC, is an Executive and Life Coach, Trainer, and Consultant, sought out to partner with executive leaders and leadership teams, individuals, couples, and groups. She is the founder and owner of Sara Thingvold Professional Services, and a collaborative business partner with Triune Leadership Services. She began coaching and training others when she was a sophomore in high school and started her own company in 2009. She is passionate about encouraging and walking alongside others. Sara and her husband have been married for 29 years They have two wonderful young adult children, a lovely daughter-in-law, and an adorable grandson. Sara is a University of Nebraska – Lincoln graduate and Husker Volleyball player Alumni. She enjoys the outdoors, cooking with her husband and family, gardening, hiking, running, crafting, and various other activities and hobbies, especially exercising her mind, body, and spirit, and being intentional about deepening her own well-being. You can learn more about Sara, coaching, and the online training programs she offers on her website at Sara Thingvold.

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    • Hello Maureen, thank you for your welcoming! Attunement has its own acronym too, Gottman’s are very creative for sure.

  1. Conflicts are inevitable in any context of everyday life, so we need to be able to recognize them, manage them and solve them in a positive way. It is important to see them as an expression of different visions and moments of individual growth, or even as a chance to improve one’s relationships through more effective communication.
    Proper conflict management is crucial both in the private sphere, linked to family, friendship and love, and in the workplace, the scene of numerous clashes due to forced cohabitation between individuals who do not know each other.
    One of the rules of the fundamental rules is to remember that from a resolved conflict neither losers nor winners must come out, but people satisfied to have found a meeting point.

  2. Welcome, Sara to our group. There is so much that has to go into a marriage to make it work. Above all, there must be constant communication in the marriage. Nobody should feel ignored, not valued, taken for granted, etc. After 33 years of marriage, I am still earning new things not only about love and intimacy (both are so very important) but also about understanding feelings. Stress be it at home or at work can and will have consequences. Stress is not totally avoidable but how we manage it is important. I have only touched the surface. It is obvious from your article you have a clear understanding of what makes relationships “tick”, pitfalls to avoid and more. Thank you, Sara, for your enlightening article.

    • The 9% statistic is surprising and kind of freaked me out too when I read it, makes sense. Since then I have been paying much more attention to myself:)
      Thank you so much for replying, I really appreciate your feedback Kimberly!