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How to fix a broken connection or relationship with a single sentence

Build your confidence and connections with my Powerful Honesty course on Udemy 

There’s few things worse in life than breaking up with a partner or friend for a bad reason – knowing deep down that you should still be together but some form of miscommunication or conflict has come between you. In this video, we explore how to know when the relationship or connection should be fixed, and simple one-step move to bring you back together.


Dan’s Top Resources

Books

Dan has 3 bestselling non-fiction books available in both written and audio form:

  • The Naked Truth, his latest release, shows you how radical honesty builds self-confidence and relationships
  • Nothing to Lose explores how to build confidence from the inside by correcting the programming in your brain
  • The Legendary Life is a very practical, action-focused guide on how to plan and execute a life plan that brings you your ideal lifestyle

Online courses

Dan continues to put out high quality online self-paced courses through the Udemy platform


Full transcript (unedited)

Alright, today I’m going to be answering a question from one of you guys from the audience, which basically asks, How do you deal with a broken connection when there was a intentional or unintentional communication breakdown with someone that you had a good connection with? And that breakdown has fucked everything up? How do you repair it. So in this video, I’m going to look at why those kinds of breakdowns happen, how to know whether or not they should be fixed. And if they do need to be fixed, what you should do about it. First, most obvious thing I have to kind of get out of the way is that all connections are going to hit bumps in the road. Now a lot of you, especially the people, pleaser types, are going to feel that a good connection should be the smooth experience as emotionally comfortable and pleasurable experience without exception. Many of you will feel that if you hit a bump in the road, if you have some sort of communication breakdown or confrontational conflict with someone, that that’s a sign that the connection is bad, and that this person is wrong for you. And that is a mistake, the best possible connection, you could ever have your best friend or partner of your dreams, your closest family members, there should still be conflict. If there isn’t, then you’re not being real with each other. There’s no way that two people being fully authentic with each other all the time are going to be totally agreeable all the time, those two things will never happen. So if you have a lot of connections that are totally smooth and agreeable, that means one or both of you probably both are being faked to keep that agreeableness that smoothness going. If you want real connection, if you want to feel deeply, intimately connected, if you want the kind of for instance, where a person will come to your aid at three o’clock in the morning, and you don’t have to worry about them cheating on you, you don’t have to worry about them gossiping about you, behind your back, that kind of connection, where you’re going to have some conflict, you’re going to have some bumps in the road. And the most common are just going to be miscommunications, they’re going to be things that you interpreted unfairly or unreasonably, or the other person interpreted it wrong. It’s going to be those times where what was said was taken the wrong way. And maybe it wasn’t said particularly well. And then the counter reaction was something that was also taken the wrong way. And it bounces back and forth a couple of times before there’s some sort of cut off some sort of falling out. There’s especially these days happens via text. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is if you want a good social life to never have any form of emotional communication via text, text messaging should be nothing but organizing, phone calls and meetups and video chats. Let’s it takes things should be strictly a logistical tool, there should never be anything serious in terms of content, discussed via text because, you know, up to 80% of communication is nonverbal, body language, its tone as well, things like that. And all of that is lost in text. And this is why takes communication goes so wrong so often. Just don’t fucking do it. In this day and age, if you got an internet connection, you can get a free app where you can send video messages or audio messages. At the very least you do not need to write written text messages to have a serious conversation with someone stop doing it. Stop fucking doing it. Okay, okay. So quite often, these miscommunication type breakdowns happen from attachment styles as the two main problematic attachment styles and avoidant attachment style, and an anxious attachment style. You don’t need to know much about these for the sake of this video. But if you want to look them up, look up the book attached. Get it on Amazon or something brilliant book that covers it all. Now someone with an avoidant attachment is always ready to bail. You know, they’ve got this kind of urge to not let anyone get too close not let any intimacy happen that might hurt them, because that’s what happened when they were a child. And so they’re always looking for an excuse to bounce. And so whenever they hit a bump in the road, they will call it a deal breaker. They’re the kind of person that will think anyone who argues with them as a narcissist, the kind of person that thinks that if you haven’t heard back from someone that they’ve lost interest, that kind of thing. They just always looking for a reason to go, I’ve got to get out of this, right, they’ve got that urge in them and to become a secure attachment, they have to fight that urge. So quite often, they’ll treat a bump in the road as a deal breaker whereas an anxious attachment. They’re so worried about being rejected and hurt and abandoned, that they’ll take any bumps in the road is a big deal. And they’ll blow it up into a drama. Right they’ll go What did you mean by that? Why aren’t you happy walk? Can I help you? No, no, I’ll take something that’s just minor, minor miscommunication. Maybe the person is just not in a good mood, and I’ll turn it into something they’ll dig the wound that doesn’t need to be dug And then it does become something especially because avoidant and anxious tend to find each other, you often get the anxious pushing the avoidant away with this behavior. So the avoidant already unwilling to deal with things that are even slightly unpleasant, and the anxious person blows up anything that’s slightly unpleasant to make it even worse, it’s a recipe for disaster. Now, the biggest problem that happens when a good connection is broken, as you get a standoff, neither person is willing to make the reconciliatory move. And either person’s wanting to go first. Or the person who is doing it is doing a very poor job, or the person who’s, you know, following isn’t following well, they’re not stepping up and taking the bait that’s been offered. And you get this kind of stalemate. Usually, each person thinks the other person should do it. Right, each person believes that the other person has some sort of apology to make some sort of reparations to make, or at least that the other person was the second to last move. So it’s their turn now, that kind of thing. So you’re sitting there going, well, it’s not my turn, it’s not my job, I’m going to wait for the other person to do it, not realizing that they are thinking the exact same thing about you, and they feel as justified as you do. And so of course, neither of you are going to do a fucking thing. And that’s the actual problem, whatever it is that separated you two, you’ll find that when you discuss it, it’s not a big deal. Probably the real big deal is that neither of you are willing to swallow your pride or your fear or your ego and make that first, you know, peace offering to reconnect. So you get this tragic situation when both people are grieving the loss losses when it’s a good connection or cover when it’s not. But when it’s a good connection, both people are grieving the loss, and desperately hoping the other person will do something that bridges this gap. And they don’t sort of stop to think the other person feels exact same way, and is doing exactly what I’m doing. So neither of us are going to fix this, this is not going to get repaired because both of us view it in the same way. Now we’ve got to cover when the shouldn’t be repaired, there’s kind of two scenarios. One is that the other person just simply isn’t as invested as you were, they don’t like you as much as you’d like them. They don’t want this as much as you want it. They’re not providing as much intimacy as you they’re not as honest as you are, whatever it is, is an imbalance in the investment. And the reason that they’re not getting back to us, they just don’t care that much. What we’re going to talk about in terms of a solution to this problem later in the video, we’ll cover that. So you’ll be able to identify if that’s the problem when you make your move. The other problem, of course, is if you’re getting played on some sort of toxic game, sort of the other person’s actually using tactics deliberately, strategically, cold bloodedly, you know, to manipulate you into being the submissive and being the person who does the work and chases them and that kind of thing. And that that kind of shit does happen. But it actually doesn’t happen as often as people think it does. Quite often people will make that assumption about what’s happening. Now they’re playing a game, they’ve given me the silent treatment, so on, when in reality, the other person’s thinking that about you. And so you’re both doing their mirrored thinking thing, again, the likelihood that you’re in a connection with a proper Nasus, that is a person with narcissistic personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder, or paranoid personality disorder, somebody is actually treating you very poorly with deliberate tactics and strategy, like a chess master. You know, these kinds of people make up less than 3% of the entire global population, as far as we know, at best 10%, probably. So that’s actually less likely, then the other person’s as hurt as you are and feels the same way that you do. But when you are with the narcissistic type, you’ll know that that’s happening. Because if you do nothing at all, they they will make a move to provoke you. They will, you know, post pictures of them with their ex on Facebook, or they’ll send you a nasty message or they’ll accidentally bump into you into the at the place where you always go wherever they will make these moves that are kind of deliberately designed to provoke a reaction from you, which isn’t the same as somebody making a genuine move to try and reconnect. So if you’ve decided that the other person is valuable, like having them out of your life feels like a great loss. Tragic, not because they validated you or they filled some unhealthy hold on you, but because they were a great person in your life, and it seems very sad that they’re not there anymore. If that’s how you feel about the other person, that both of you would have better lives or fewer together than if you’re apart. Then you’ve just got to swallow your pride, your ego, your insecurities, and make the first move, call it extending the olive branch, a peace offering, where you invite them to talk and that’s Did you say look, I hate that we’re apart, I hate the word broken up, I hate that we’ve had this falling out. Let’s get together. Let’s talk it out. Let’s fix this. And that’s your move. That’s it an invitation. Right? And how they respond to that will tell you whether or not this is worth fixing. And how it needs to be fixed. If it is, right. So if they respond to that, with nastiness, or cold silence or whatever, then you’ve done your part, it’s time to move on, find someone else to have in your life, for whatever reason, they’re not willing to step up and do their 50% of this interaction. Okay, maybe they’re hurt and bitter and resentful. Or maybe they’re nasty, or maybe they don’t give a shit about you, whatever it is, doesn’t really matter. If you’re going to go humble hat in hand and say, Look, I’m willing to fix us a few. I’m willing to eat whatever medicine I need to eat in order to learn from this, and they don’t do the same. That’s it, you’re done. You’re done with them. Okay, they had their chance you made the first move. You invested, you took the risk, they have to step up for it. To be fair, this isn’t about apologizing. Okay, this isn’t about you going okay to fix this? I’ll be the one who says it was my fault. No, in fact, neither of you need to apologize. I’m a big advocate for non apology, like, I don’t think you need it in life. I think it’s just a manipulative tool to make people feel a certain way. What really needs to happen as a reconciliation, like how did we misinterpret each other? How did such a great connection get fucked up by such a small thing? You know, what was the truth about what was happening? How do we actually feel about each other? So curious exploration, trying to understand each other not trying to apologize, I’m trying to fix the other person’s hurt feelings. It’s not your job, it’s not their job to fix yours. Your job is to understand each other re connect, go, what did you think was happening on your site? Because here’s what I thought was happening is what I’m to Purdue saying, this is the bit I took personally, and this is, you know, when I think about actually overreacted to this part, and I was wondering what you really meant by that, you know, you you just come clean, humble about whatever it is that you know, you fucked up in this situation. And then you invite them to do the same. Like, why did you break contact? What was your reasoning? What do you think was going on? And you just explore it, like, almost like it happened to other people. And you’re investigating it like psychologists like what do you think happened? But why did these people have a conflict is people will have a great connection, what did they do wrong in terms of their interpretation, and the, you know, assumptions and the intentions they predicted onto each other, like, what what was really happening there, and you just do it with each other. And if you’re good for each other, the end result of that conversation is you should feel more deeply connected, better able to handle conflict, and more importantly, that you know, each other better than you did before, make sure that there are clear boundaries set for this conversation. Okay, those boundaries must be curiosity and compassion. Every person involved, maybe even more than two, but the two people involved should be allowed to fully speak their mind get everything out without being interrupted, without being challenged without resistance. They take turns like, this is my full story. You know, and it’s not a debate, no, go, now you got that wrong, it was like hear them, just hear them out in the in, they do the same for you. It should be very respectful conversation, where your job is not to correct them. It’s not to make sure that they’re right or wrong. It is to understand them, what they think happened is the truth, you don’t need to correct that. You can just talk about your perspective, they talk about these and the two of you will see each other and you’ll make your corrections yourselves you won’t need to correct each other. As a fireman emphasizes enough this conflicting conversation must be in person. Or if that’s not possible, a video call zoom or Skype or whatever. Okay, this cannot be written, it just can’t be have written as your only form of communication, then put off the conversation until you’ve got a better medium available. Okay, worst case scenario, an audio only phone call. Alright? I challenge you to prove that you are in a situation where you must write this out. Okay, that’s just not true. Sure, it’s much more uncomfortable in person or on the phone, you feel like if you write it out, you can think things through and so on. But I’m telling you now, writing is probably what got you into this problem in the first place, writing is not going to get you out of it. Right writing letters and all that there are a time and place for that. But in general, do it in person. If you want to write it out, write out first and then take that with you and read it to them in person, at the very least. Okay, it’s fine. If you have to plan what you’re going to say because you’re so nervous. You can’t think of things or you got to make some bullet points or whatever, that’s fine. Just make sure you’re right. do with them at least they can see you and hear you. Or otherwise this is not going to go as well as it could, if the other person keeps flaking out on won’t attend the meeting that they say they agreed to, or they disrespect the no text boundary or they dismiss how bad the conflict is between you or anything else that makes us difficult. Just call out the difficulty that they’re presenting. And then leave it with them to say, look, I want to fix this, you clearly don’t, or you’re making it difficult to do. So I’m going to leave it with you, when you want to fix this, you let me know Until then, I’m afraid that we’re done. I’m willing to work on this a fewer, but I’m not going to be the one doing all the work something like that. And then you just move on with your life and you leave it with them. They want to swallow their pride. They want to overcome their fear. It’s on them. That’s not your choices. There’s and if not, well, they’re not willing to do the work like you are. So you’re better off spending your time finding somebody else where you don’t have to battle to do the work somebody you’re probably gonna have less conflict with. Of course, if you want to become someone who masters communication to a level where you don’t even have this disconnect problem. And if you do you fix it immediately. Then get in touch dan@brojo.org and I’ll coach you on how to master this level of communication.

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