One-minute Amnesty

Of all the strategies to improve relationships, one of the most effective is what I call “one-minute amnesty.”

We’ve been unknowingly practicing this strategy since we were children every time we called for a “do-over” during a game.

“Do over.” What happy words those were and how often necessary!

Now, we only have to mutually agree to it as adults. We need “do-overs” as much today, but now for the reflexive yet unintended words we often blurt out.

Through “one-minute amnesty,” unintended words are freed from unintended consequences.

Here’s how it works: you and someone else agree that if either of you says something you don’t mean, you can take it back and replace it with what you meant.

One common example is reflexive lying, also left over from childhood.

One-minute amnesty prevents “Sure I mailed the bill,” from being followed by a frosty “So, why do I see it on your car’s dashboard!”

Instead, one gets a minute to correct, “Okay, that’s not true. I forgot to mail it today, so I put it on my dashboard to help me remember tomorrow.”

Another example in need of amnesty is irritability, verbally snapping at those we love. Those who care about us are sensitive to us, and we want them to stay that way.

One-minute amnesty allows us to edit ourselves with some version of “I’m sorry how that came out. What I meant to say is….”

A third example in need of amnesty, rather than blurted words, is distraction – not realizing that someone who cares about you wants your attention when you’re absorbed in something.

You can suggest to them, “There’s nothing more important than you. If I seemed to ignore you, I was lost in distraction mode, so flag me down.”

It’s hard to overestimate how much unnecessary pain can be escaped with mutual amnesties.

It’s easy to imagine the increased love in your life when you give and receive it.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2023 at 8:37 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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