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To We Can Do Hard Things. All right, so here's the deal. I thought long and hard about what episode I wanted Precious Pod squad as you head into the holidays. Okay? What is the one thing that we could just keep close to us? What idea as we go into this time that is so fraught for so many people, whether it's like too many people surrounding us, whether it's not enough people surrounding us, whether it's family that drives us bat shit crazy, or whether it's family that drives us bat shit crazy, we're like, it's the most time of year.




That is what it is. It is the most. I- I found myself watching a Ted talk by my friend, Dr. Becky Kennedy, about the magic of repair. God, it's so good. Okay. She calls it the number one parenting strategy in the world. I think it might be the number one strategy in the world.




Think that if we take it with us in all its iterations as we head into this holiday, I don't know what's going to happen. I just think we should. Okay. But one thing we know for sure is that there will be plenty of opportunities for repair. That's the only thing we know.


Yes. As we.


Go into this episode, Pod squad, I want you during this holiday to be going about your business, thinking about moments of repair, trying this shit. And then I want you to come back and tell us.


How it works. Oh, my gosh. That would be so fun to.


The voice notes. I really do. I want to know. If you screw everything up and then you repair or you try, I want you to stop your dinner and call our voicemail. It's going to be so great, you guys, because we're usually trying not to screw up. But this holiday, we're going to be celebrating screwing up because it's going to be an opportunity for us to try the number one strategy. What if you don't screw anything up, you'll be wasting this.


New information to use the number one strategy in the world. Everybody do not mess up your opportunity to mess up. Don't. Got it. I'm going to capitalize on it.


That's what I'm.


Talking about. It's so freeing, right? Okay, so here to talk to us about repair, the number one strategy that we will use during the most time of year is Dr. Becky Kennedy, who is a clinical psychologist, bestselling author, mom of three. She is rethinking the way we raise our children. She's been named the millennial parenting whisperer by Time Magazine. She is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller, Good Insight, a guide to becoming the parent you want to be. She is the founder of the Good Insight membership platform and host of the chart-topping podcast, Good Insight with Dr. Becky. And her Ted talk about repair is just being shared all around the land. So, Dr. Becky, tell us about repair and how it's going to fix our holidays. Yeah, it.


Really is the number one strategy, period, in life. It is. It really is because you all know this, you talk about it all the time, we're imperfect beings. We are not robots, we're humans, which means in every important relationship, we mess up, we struggle.




We just show up in a way that we wish we didn't. And if that happens for every single person, it would only make sense for every single person to know what they can do after to feel empowered and to get things back on track for themselves and for their relationship. And that's what repair is. So repair is it's really the act of returning to a moment where you are disconnected from someone. So you're returning to that moment. You're taking responsibility for your behavior, and you're acknowledging the impact it had on someone else. And in doing that, and I'm sure we'll get to just so many amazing things become possible.


Okay, like what?


I think the best way to explain the powerful impact of repair has to actually start with what happens when we don't repair, because actually just understanding that alternative shows the gap between not repairing and repairing. And that gap is just massive. I'll use an example, not with kids. It's late one night, I've had a long day and my husband asked me some relatively innocent question, and I snap back at him. Oh, you're the worst. Or, Why do you ask me that? Or, You're always criticizing me. Something like that. And then I walk out of the room. He's probably left being like, Okay, I don't know what just happened. Then maybe I go to bed and then I wake up the next morning like nothing happened. But I think we all know there's not like a closeness between us. We both are just holding on to what happened. So what will happen if I don't repair? Number one for me, I'm just carrying around this like, icky feeling. That didn't feel good to me. I didn't like the way I showed up. Even if I'd say, Hey, honey, I wish you asked in a different way.


I'm not certainly not proud of my behavior. I'm carrying that around. I probably also feel a little ashamed of it, which always makes us hyper-vigulent to seeing other people and worrying that they're thinking that about us as well. So it actually almost makes it more likely. Oh, yeah, my husband really does think I'm the worst person ever. So hypervigilant to interpret ambiguous situations in a negative way. I'm holding myself in a negative regard. That's not great. But then for someone else, when you've had a moment you don't feel good about kid or adult, that moment lives in their body, too. We forget that. That. If I yell at my husband or yell at my kid, they've already registered the feeling. That does not make us a bad person. It's just information. So once that feeling has registered, either I can go back to that moment and provide a story and offer connection and coherence and love on top of that moment, or that moment just lives on its own. And then the other person has to tell themselves a story about why that happened. And if you think about the story, especially kids tell themselves when their parents don't repair often after yelling, it's not a good story.


Kids have to gain control. They're like, This is my parent who I love, and it's supposed to make me feel safe, but I feel bad. You know what story they tell themselves? I'm a bad kid. It's my fault. That's my fault. Or they tell themselves another disturbing story. I'm not so good at perceiving things. I can't trust myself. That couldn't have happened. So they either tell themselves a story of self-blame, it's all my fault, or self-doubt; I can't trust my feelings. And those are probably the two most powerful stories adults still tell themselves in a way that holds them back. And they're not stories we tell ourselves as adults. They're actually the legacy of those moments in childhood. Versus if you do repair, what I get to do, and to me, the image of this matters, is I get to go back to that moment. It's a chapter in my kid's life. It's a chapter in my husband's life. And I get to reopen the book. I literally get to reopen the book, and I get to go back to the point in the chapter. And instead of that being the ending, it's like magic.


I get to rewrite a very different ending to the story. And we all know when you write more of a chapter, the theme of the chapter changes, the title of the chapter changes, the lessons you learn completely change because instead of that bad moment being the endpoint, that moment is just the part of a much larger story.


Okay, so this is my question to you about that because it's actually like magic. Yes. You're changing the past. 100 %. Because in one of my many therapies, I have experienced this thing where the therapist takes you back to a moment in your life, like in your childhood. They're like, Okay, talk me through the moment. Then they have me add things to the memory that weren't there. How would that go if you could rewrite it now? I might say, Okay, well, this person would have been here and this person would have been... They would have said this instead of that. This is a thing you do over and over again because memory is the thing that happened plus every time you thought about it. Yes. Memory isn't what just happened. It's what happened plus every time you thought about it. So if you think about it differently, if my 47 year old self thinks about a memory from when I was eight differently, it changes the actual memory of the thing. I think what you're saying, Dr. Becky, okay, let's just throw my parents under the bus here because that's what we do on this pod.


Let's say the thing happened when I'm eight. If they come back a week later and sit me down and say, Okay, we're thinking about that moment where we lost connection. We want to talk to you about it. This is what we could have done differently. That memory is changing then instead of me having to wait until I'm 47 to change the memory. It's like photoshopping life. It's like magic. It's changing the past for them as they go forward.


Correct? That's exactly right. Yes, that is completely scientific. Memory is not a recollection of events. It's events plus every other time you've remembered that event. And the thing I'd add or shift a little is it's not just how we think about it, it's new experiences. It's really how we're feeling and those new experiences. This is why therapy is effective. If you actually think about therapy, why does it change people's lives? Because the events in our past that impacted us still happened. It's because when you have a series of moments where you're recalling events in the context of a new safer relationship, the events remain and your story of the events change. And you all know this. Stories are what matter to us. Events never actually were the thing that traumatized us. The story we told ourselves about events traumatize us, and they only traumatized us in the first place because we were left alone with it and had to make up the stories ourselves as kids.


This is why at 43 years old, I am literally going back into my life trying to figure out what is real. Because the story I have, I am now realizing might not actually be real because I was left alone to my own devices to create the story. For so long, I've been in some ways blaming other people, when in fact, a lot of this story I have told myself throughout my life is my own doing, and that's a responsibility. So not only going back and trying to shift that story in some way, but it's also important that that is my doing, that is my psychology, and that is how all of this... Obviously, we want to repair this stuff, but there's so many of us that didn't get that opportunity. How do we do that now in our 43-year-old.


Self bodies? And it's important to say, so let's say if it's my kid, I yell at my son in the kitchen, he's alone in his room. If I don't go repair, kids are so amazing. They're so crafty. And so for all of us as adults listening to this, we say, I do tend to blame myself or doubt myself. Why do I do that? I really mean this. We should come at that with deep respect and appreciation for our childhoods. I was alone and overwhelmed in my room, and I figured out some way at my own disposal to tell myself a story to then operate in the world again and assume things were safe enough to continue and grow. That is so compelling. Actually, we can start to really shift things in ourselves when we do start to approach ourselves with that deep, not just compassion, but deep appreciation for what we figured out how to do. I say this quote in my Ted talk to me, it's just so powerful. I want to share it here. Ronald Fairburn said it many, many years ago that for kids, it's better to be a sinner in a world ruled by God than to live in a world ruled by the devil.


And to me, this explains almost everything in child development. That when you're caught in a moment as a kid where something happened, especially if it's with your caregivers who are supposed to keep you safe, that doesn't feel good. You have two options: the badness can be outside of you or the badness can be inside of you. And as sad as it seems to say, Oh, why would a kid put the badness inside? What if a kid put the badness outside? You'd be literally psychologically unable to function as a small, helpless child. And so you take it in. You assume it's your own. And when I go repair with my son, you guys know I'm a very visual person, what motivates me more than anything else to go repair? Because me too. I'm like, But he was so difficult. And we all have all of our reasons we want to not do it. It's just human. I literally imagined myself snatching the self-blame and the self-doubt out of his body. I do. I'm like, I'm going to go get that. I'm going to go get it out. I'm going to take it out. And he's never going to really thank me for it.


I don't think I don't think he'll understand. But I will know over the course of his life that that is one of the biggest privileges I can actually give him to think that sometimes when bad things happen in relationships, it's not my fault. I can't trust my assessment that something didn't feel good in a relational moment. I know that's true. And it isn't something I caused. That is going to help my kids, my daughter, like so much.




Is the difference between repair and apology?


Yes, I think the difference is how we feel. I think like language around it, how I think about it is, apologies often in our life serve to shut a conversation down.


100 %.


And we can go to our kid and we say, I'm sorry I yelled. Okay, can we move on? Or we say, I'm sorry you felt that way. Or we say, I'm sorry I yelled, but listen, if you just got your shoes on when I asked, I mean, it wouldn't have happened. That is not a repair. I think, again, the visual of the difference is an apology is like my kid sitting on a couch and I go up to them and say something and run away. I'm like, Oh, good. I got it over with. Where a repair is sitting next to them on the couch and actually looking at them and lingering and staying.


Yeah. For anyone who is thinking to themselves, that would have been great to know 35 years ago.




I'm not buying it. Or it's too late for me anyway, so what good is this knowing this? Are you willing to walk us through the exercise that you did?




In your Ted talk?


Yes. I just should say I love skeptics. I really do. I love skeptics.


This is why we get along.


So well. I do. I like, skeptics think deeply about things before they want to incorporate new ideas. I value that. And I think skepticism is a cousin of curiosity, and curiosity is like amazing. So they sit very close to each other. So appreciate skepticism. There's very few things I say in a very direct way. I'm always like, There's a lot of nuance. But to me, what I can say with complete conviction is not too late. It is never, ever too late. And to me, there's evidence of research and things like that. I appreciate that evidence, that's real. And I often do think that some of the evidence that gives us the most conviction and something is the evidence in our body. I really, really do. And so, yes, I'd ask us to walk through this exercise. So you're worried it's too late. My kids are older or it's not one thing I did. I don't yell at my kids. It's like a pattern of things I did for 30 years. How do I repair for that? Or my kid is already X years old. They're cooked. Here's what I'd say. So just imagine that you get a phone call right after you listen to this podcast episode from one of your parents.


And for anyone whose parents are both deceased, imagine you get home and find some letter in some drawer that you hadn't seen until that moment. So we'll walk through the phone call. Hey, I know this is going to sound out of the blue, but I've just been thinking a lot about your childhood. There are so many things that happened between us that I'm sure felt really bad to you. You were right to feel that way. I want you to know that I'm really sorry those moments weren't your fault. They were moments when I was struggling. And if I could go back, I just would have stepped aside and calmed my own body and then found you to figure out what was really going on for you. So I could have helped you. And if you're ever willing to talk to me about any of those moments, I'll listen. I won't listen to have a rebuttal. I'll listen to understand. I love you.




Love you. I mean, it's like, I don't know many adults are like, Nothing. I've got nothingI had no impact on me. None at all. I remember actually doing this exercise for the first time with a therapy client who was a man in his 50s who was very stoic on the surface. He just said, Why am I crying? Why am I crying? And why we're crying? Why we're crying ever and things that don't always make sense to us in the moment is I think our body, a part of us is hearing something we've literally always needed to hear, and it's relief. It's relief of a part of us that we don't even realize how many things we've held and self-blame. And what I know is if there's a listener here who says, Wow, that imagined exercise with my own parents would have an impact on me, I feel like that's all the evidence I would ever need to say, consider the impact an actual repair would have on your child who is younger than you. Your child is always younger than you are, which means the stories of their lives.








That much more amenable to editing. And so it's not too late. It's not going to change everything, and it will change some things. It always does.


Can we talk a little bit about why it's so damn hard to do it? Because the case for it is so obvious that it almost begs like, okay, so, duh, let's do it. And yet I actually find myself when I'm talking about these things, I feel bad for the generation right before me because they weren't taught this. They were taught that a good parent, like it's easy for us to say, Why the hell weren't they doing this? Why were we all in our bedrooms alone trying to figure out the world? Why did no one apologize to us? But their model for what was a good parent was not that. It's not that they thought they were being bad parents. They were trying to be good parents. But good parenting was seen as invulnerability. You don't let them see you sweat. You don't let them see your imperfection. You are infallible. Stoic, isn't it? You said something so briefly on something recently where you said we are imperfect parents. That's okay because we are preparing our kids for a very imperfect world.




We're actually perfect for this shit. Yes. We are nailing it. Yes. So why is it so hard? Why is it so hard? I can apologize to my kids like nobody's business. I do it left and right. I do it 10 times a day. They're so annoyed. I recommend with teenagers writing short letters because they don't want you to come to the room six times. But it's very hard for me to apologize to Abby. Why is it so hard to apologize or to repair?


Yeah, two reasons come to mind for me. So one, having a really hard time apologizing can look on the surface like being pretty cold hearted. And actually under the surface, there's so much intense vulnerability. And it's actually in that way, very similar to why toddlers don't apologize. We're like, say sorry, say sorry. Because in a moment, if you have conflated your behavior with how you think about yourself as a person, I yelled at my kid. And then if you go into, I'm a horrible mom, let's say, you will literally be unable to apologize from that place. You can't repair because you can't literally face the reality that you did a thing that made you a bad person. We can't, as humans, feel bad inside. We actually can't. It's so disintegrating. It's so we will avoid facing something if we think that thing brings on badness. It's actually adaptive for us to avoid it. So that's one reason, which is again why when you think about kids who won't apologize, we're like, What's wrong with you? Say sorry to your cousin. All we're doing is actually making them more stuck in that. Or when we say to ourselves, What's wrong with me?


I know I want to apologize to my wife. What is wrong with me? Which is probably what we say to ourselves, also making ourselves more frozen in that shame state. Shame is really feeling bad and unlovable, right? So that's one reason. Related to that, but a little more concrete is that we're very used to telling ourselves the story of justifying our action by focusing on the other person's actions. It's hard to separate those. So when it's a kid, it's like, well, I would have never yelled at my kid if they just listen to me the first time. And it feels like, again, we mix up these things. And if I repair, like we told ourselves the story, it doesn't even make sense. I'm laughing. If I repair, it's like I'm saying to my four year old that it's okay, they don't listen to me. I don't know who made that up, those equivalences. It's totally not saying that. But we justify to ourselves or even think I can't repair because I don't want to, quote, reinforce my kid's bad behavior. And I think we even do that in our marriages. Because whenever we would repair, I'm sure there is something in someone else that triggered us or that we didn't love.


Yeah, like I'll repair as soon as you repair.


That's right. Exactly. We're like in a stand off. I'll do it if you do it. But I think what we really miss there is the gift of repair to ourselves. When you don't repair in a relationship that's meaningful to you, not only does it harm the other person and your relationship, it's such an awful feeling we walk around with. And so I've been in that in my marriage, too, where I'm like, He has to repair first. And honestly, what helps me is I'll say, I'm really doing this for me. It's going to benefit him. It's going to benefit our marriage. I hate this feeling. And I know separate from what he did, I didn't act in a way I'm proud of. That's true for me in an encapsulated way. And I'm going to feel better if I start out that way. And so I think to make that, again, concrete is the missing step in repairing with someone else that most of us aren't taught is you actually have to do what I call a self-repair first. And to me, repairing with yourself is the process of separating what I did from who I am.


For anyone listening, not driving, I really recommend putting your hands out and separating them and looking at one and saying, This is what I did. That's my behavior. And me and you both, we'd say, I wasn't so good. Nope. That was not a great behavior, that one. Nope. Okay. And keep that hand far away from the other one. And then you look at the other hand and you say, This is who I am. That's my identity. So on the one side, you say, What I did, my quote, bad behavior. And on the other side, Who I am, my good identity. And when you remind yourself those are separate and essentially, I'm a good person who did not such a good thing, you start to find your groundedness because now you can face the behavior because it's not an indication that you're some horrible monster.


So people who have a strong sense of self and who they are can apologize and can repair well. And people who might feel like they have adult imposter syndrome where someone's about to just figure them out every second in their marriage, might not want to apologize because they think that the other person might figure out that they don't know what the hell they're doing, ever.


Yeah, but you think that I haven't done all of that equation already. I already.


Know all of this.


I think that I'm a better actor. I give you more grace because I know that deep down you think that you're a bad person and then I'm going to find it out. I just don't believe that and I'll never believe that.


Here we are. I love that, though, that it's about self-knowing. That's beautiful. I think that's one of the reasons why we don't repair with our kids. Yes. Is because we are worried that they are collapsing the two hands. We are worried that if we walk back in there every week and a half and say, hey, remember, I did the thing again, not so great, that they are going to take as the headline of that, Mommy is bad and mean. I know it for sure because she keeps coming in here telling me that she was bad and mean. But that is not true. You go back to Becky's visual. We are not going back in there to save our reputation with our kids. We are going back in there to snatch the self-blame, which they're putting on themselves. We are not creating a Gulf between us and our kids. We are adding back in safety and closeness. Yes. So good. Yes.


And when you do that, because I want to speak to all the very practical parents who are probably thinking like I would too, but when is my kid going to put their shoes on in the morning when I ask? Because that's really true. Because that's how I think too. How are we going to get there? Because I like to have all the things checked off too. As long as you're sitting there not repairing, my kid, I guess I would have yelled, but they never listen to me in the morning. They're not listening to me in the morning is only going to increase because now in their body, they have more fear. Now they feel more disconnected from you. Guess what? The only reason kids listen is because they feel connected to you. They don't really care about putting on their shoes and they'll do it because they feel close and connected to you. So now decreased likelihood. But once I've repaired and it's not a repair, if you add, and I just have to say this, but next time, listen, and it won't happen. We know how it feels ourselves. It just doesn't count. It's a good try.


And next time we're going to do a little better. So a repair is something you first give yourself and then you give someone else. Actually, the repair to yourself matters, especially for a parent. And this is because unless I've really repaired with myself and accessed really my own internal goodness separate from my behavior, I'm going to be looking for my kid to validate that in response to my repair. Is that okay? Is it okay? It's okay now, right? We're okay? You still love me, right? My kid is now having the responsibility of doing something that's really not their job and is my job. And so by the time I go repair, I have to have done that for myself so I can just give it. I'm not really expecting a response. But then the benefit is this. So in my family, let's say I yell at my kids. They're never ending the morning. I repair, Hey, no matter what, it's not okay to yell at you like that. That's not your fault. I'm working on managing my feelings. Okay, all that stuff. I then tell myself, and it's so arbitrary, I'm just like 24-hour role, 24 hours later.


Now that I'm reconnected with my kid and we're on the same team, I can then say to my kid instead of, But you need to get your shoes on. I can say, Hey, you know what I'm thinking about? Neither of us like the mornings when there's so much chaos. And I'm just wondering what we can think about doing to just make putting on shoes a little bit easier. Let's come up with that together. And any parent who's like, Do you think my four-year-old is going to really come up with... Yes, they will, because kids are amazing problem solvers when they feel safe and connected, just like adults are. And so now that I've connected with my kid, I can actually get to the heart of things. Maybe we come up with or maybe I realize, you know what? It's hard for a four-year-old to know what to do. I'm going to put a little visual schedule. Nothing fancy, but just something at the door that says, socks, shoes, out the door. Maybe I put my kid socks by the door because it's just easier to get ready. Now I can actually do something practically helpful or help my kid build a skill they didn't have in the first place, which would literally never happen if I was blaming my kid for my behavior.


I would like you to give us a couple of examples of what is a good repair and what is actually not, in fact, a repair. It's not a repair if we come in and say, Here's what mommy did, or, Abby, here's what I did, and it would have been so much easier. I'm so sorry. And it would have been better for me if you would not have started the whole thing. That's not a repair. But the beauty of it, and I just think this is so gorgeous. It's like that Japanese pottery where they put the gold in and then it's more beautiful in the cracks than it ever would have been without the cracks. Repair, it's not like the second best thing after you've screwed it up. It's you will never have a more connecting tool in the world. You will never have something that makes you closer to your person than this thing, which means if you don't have dropped moments of connection, which we call fuck-ups or whatever, if you don't mess it up, you will never have this beautiful thing. It comes only if and because you, quote-unquote, dropped the ball or messed it up or overreacted or whatever you did.


It's the goal that you only get if you do the screw up. It's the opposite of how we think. The best thing would be if we just didn't screw up at all.


No, that would.


Not be the.


Best thing. That's right. That's not a thing. And it's true. When you think about, especially with your kids or even with another adult, the world has ruptures. Our closest relationships have moments that don't feel good. I often think the worst thing for my kids would be to go out into adulthood with a model of a relationship, which let me slow that down. The way we relate to our kid becomes the model they take into the world of what to expect in intimate adult relationships. We call those more sexual relationships maybe. That's not what we have, but they're both intimate relationships. I don't think any of us want our kids going into the world saying, You know who I'm looking for? A partner who is always perfectly attuned to my needs. Can't wait to find that person. That is a recipe for disaster. That's just literally never going to happen. What I think the best it gets is a kid saying, I'm looking for someone who, in general, tries to be attuned to my needs and care about them. And when we have moments that feel really bad can own their part of that story. That's what I want for my kids.


And they will not have that if I don't repair, but they also will not have that if I don't mess up. That is a hundred % true. And so, as self-talk, the next time you yell at your kids, and I mean it, I want you to hear my voice saying, Okay, step one, yell at my kids, crushed it, crushed it, checked it off halfway there. Look at me, head of the game. You know how people always say the first step is the hardest step? I already did it. I already did the hardest step. Amazing. Okay, what's next? Oh, repair. Okay, I'm already on the path. So truly, let's get that reframed. So in terms of the actual language in that moment, I'd also say I don't like to be too prescriptive because you'll know what feels good, but also language can help us walk through a door we've never walked through before. So to me, just naming what happened, again, one of the things that removes self-doubt from a kid is just validating that their perception actually is true.




Name what happened, take responsibility and say what you do differently the next time. So that might say, Hey, I'm thinking about earlier when I yelled at you in the kitchen. And really, for a kid, they're like.




That thing, that did happen. I was right. I was there.


I was there.


Yes. A language I like in general to say to my kid is you were right to notice that. I feel like that's such powerful thing for kids to hear parents say. It's like, you were right. That happened. I'm thinking about earlier when I yelled at you in the kitchen, I'm really sorry, and it's never your fault when I yell. I'm working on staying calm even when I'm frustrated, something like that. And what I'm really doing there is I'm both reminding my kid that they actually are accurate perceivers of their environment. We can do another episode on that and how I actually think we train kids to tune out their perceptions. Absolutely. Don't talk about that. Don't say that. That's not nice. Or we don't basically say to them, Yes, you are really seeing what you see. So we're making sure we say, Yes, that happened. And then when you say to a kid, and I know this is tricky, like when you say it's never your fault when I yell, I think that really matters. And I know it's easy to say, but I wouldn't have yelled if they didn't complain about dinner. I always imagine, like if my kid is married and I don't know, their wife cooks dinner and it's not very good, and they end up yelling and say, Look, I'm sorry I yelled, but it wouldn't have happened if the dinner you made just tasted better.


I don't know one parent would be like, I'm so proud. That's my boy. That's my girl over there, like repairing like a champ. I think we'd be horrified if we heard that. I wouldn't have yelled at you if you remember toilet paper. I'm just saying. And so you cannot apologize your kid in that way and expect your kids to do anything other than that. And so to me, I often think about that. And it's not our kid's fault when we yell. The truth is the way we regulate our emotions and our own circuitry was in our bodies way longer than we even had that child. And that's what they're trying to do.


That's right, man. That's right. And it is the goal. None of us are completely regulated.




But as a parent, that is a good goal. That is something to work towards. I am working towards regulating my own anger. And you can say that we're never going to be there. So you can say that for the rest of raising your kid's life. But it actually is the goal. It actually is what we, as adults, the dream that we want that we should be able to be regulated to not be triggered by the kid's behavior or anyone else's behavior. Because what you're saying is for people who are listening that don't have little kids and will not be repairing in that way over this holiday season. If your sister-in-law comes into the kitchen in the same scenario and asks you where the tofu is, and you just have your turkey, and and you just tell her to shut the fuck up. Yes. That sucks. There's a million moments like that over the holidays, right? And so what you're saying, Dr. Reckie, is that you're going to go back to your sister-in-law and you're going to say, You were right to notice how I told you to fuck off. Some version.


Of that. Well, first you're going to take yourself to the bathroom, and I mean, you're going to say, okay, I'm not proud of my latest behavior. My latest behavior doesn't define me. You have to separate that first. That self repair, you can't skip it. And then, yes, some version of, hey, I'm sorry I snapped at you. I'm feeling stressed. It wasn't your fault. I'm sure that felt bad. And I bet your sister in law is going to be like, That was a nice moment of my holiday.


Yes, exactly. That was.


The best moment of my whole holiday. And if you are seeing family and you're thinking, I feel bad about something that happened last year, I just want you to consider this. To me, the phrase when someone says to me, I was thinking about, and then tells me something that happened a while ago. I was thinking about what happened last holiday, and I don't know if you still are, but I have, and I'm sorry. My experience is like, you were thinking about me for a year? Yes. That's so beautiful. That is always received in such an amazing way. You were thinking about me. You were holding me in your mind. You were considering... That is so powerful for someone to hear. And I bet that your entire holiday week off in a different direction by just naming that from the start. So, yes, I think in all of our relationships, we want to work on getting regulated a little bit more often and repairing a lot more often. Okay, I.


Have a follow-up question to this because this is something that I find myself doing. I bring context into repair or other ways of saying it. It's excuses, reasons why that I think are important. Can you include context.


Or reasons? To give an example.


For me, recently something happened where I overreacted. I got woken up in the middle of the night. We have teenage kids. I overreacted. In the repair, I was trying to explain to them when I get woken up in the middle of the night, I got super triggered. Some of my past is a part of this. Can that be a part of a repair? Or is it like, Hey, I really want to work on get overreacting in moments that absolutely don't call for it, and I'm really sorry. I'm trying to figure out if I need to repair the repair. Okay.


I want to first give you... I hate the term overreaction if it works for you, then use it. But again, I would say there's a story there. There's a story there and it matters to understand it. That's number one. I think one thing I'd say is when we really do that moment or two, maybe it's a moment of self-repair, we probably don't feel as much of a need to provide context to someone else because I think our context is a bid for someone else to see us as a good person.


That's right.


Okay. Having said that, it doesn't have to be so black or white, I think I'd be like, Is this useful for someone? Is this useful? Sometimes in the moment it's not. I think we all know. When you're receiving a repair, you're smelling anything that feels like a knot repair. So again, I always like that 24-hour rule. If you feel like it is useful to know, I could see it going back and saying, By the way, again, yesterday not your fault. I really want to work on that for me, for you, for us, all of it. And I thought it might be good for you to know that when I do get woken up in the middle of the night, I've realized I'm making the stop. Someone putting their hand on my leg is actually a much more soothing way for me to get woken up. And it startles me less because there's things from my past that lead to that startle response. And I just thought that might be useful for you to know, again, not your fault, but if you actually think that's helpful to them. Got it. I think saying to yourself, is this helpful to someone else?


Or is this a way I'm avoiding, again, finding my own good identity? That's where I'd answer the question.


That's why I think it's so interesting that I am really cool with apologizing to the kids all the time.


I have a very hard time apologizing to you. You have no problem apologizing to me. But it's so hard for you to apologize to the kids, but easy to apologize to me. I think it's because I have so much confidence in my being a good mom, but I don't have a lot of confidence yet about being a good partner.


I struggle with my confidence in parenting, and I'm pretty confident in my ability to be a spouse. Yeah.


It's interesting to think about who are the people that you have the most trouble apologizing to because it's probably because you're insecure about your part.


Such vulnerability. I feel most vulnerable there. I question myself and whatever, my loveability, my good enoughness, they're the most. And that framework is so powerful, at least for you, Glenn, and that's so powerful to know about Abby and when she's struggling with the kids in some ways, just saying to her, Look, you're a great parent. That's probably more helpful, ironically, to help someone go repair than anything else because they're trying to access that.


You have told me that. You've been like, I need you to be on my side. I need you to be on my side. So that's what you're saying. I need confidence so that I can... You all, we're going to go into these holidays or whatever we're going to spend the next week. We are going to hopefully screw up so much that we have example.


After example- Ample opportunity.


-of these repairs that are going to be just life-changing. We cannot wait to hear how they go well and how they don't. May your cup of runneth over with opportunities to repair. Our number, if you want to stop, if you want to get up from the holiday table and tell us about is 747-2005-307. You all, I love you so much. But when you call us, it's actually not a podcast length of time that we can hear your voicemail.


They're amazing, though.


Just try to smush it into a smaller amount of time.




Holidays, you all. Happy holidays or holidays.


Or less happy holidays. Have a wonderful holiday to you. Have a wonderful holiday to you. And give us a call.


Yeah. Dr. Reckie, thank you for everything. I'm just going to look you again in a few months. So we can- Can't wait. -figure out what else the hell you're thinking about. Happy holidays. We love you, pod squad. Go forth and repair. If this podcast means something to you, it would mean so much to us if you'd be willing to take 30 seconds to do these three things. First, can you please follow or subscribe to We Can Do Hard Things? Following the pod helps you because you'll never miss an episode, and it helps us because you'll never miss an episode. To do this, just go to the We Can Do Hard Things show page on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Odyssey, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and then just tap the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner or click on Follow. This is the most important thing for the pod. While you're there, if you'd be willing to give us a five-star rating and review and share an episode you love with a friend, we would be so grateful. We appreciate you very much. We Can Do Hard Things is produced in partnership with Cadence 13 Studios.


I give you Tish Milton and Brandy Carlisle.


I walked through a fire, I came out the other side. I chased desire, I made sure I got what's mine. And I continue to believe that I'm the one for me. And because I'm mine, I walk the line. Because we're adventurers and heart breaks on that. Our final destination is to beto be back. We've stopped asking directions in some places they've never been. And to be loved, we need to be known. We'll finally find our way back home. And through the joy and pain that our lives bring, we can do a hard thing. I hit rock bottom, it felt like a brand new star. I'm not the problem, sometimes things fall apart. And I continue to believe the best people are free. And it took some time, but I'm finally fine. Because we're adventurers and heart breaks on that, our final destination. To be home. We've stopped asking directions to places they've never been. And to be loved, we need to be known. We'll finally find our way back home. And through the joy and pain that our lives bring, we can do our... I hope we can get there. I hope we can get there.


This is where adventurers and heart breaks are mad. We might get lost, but we're okay with that. We stopped asking directions in some places they've never been. And to be loved, we need to be loved. We'll finally find our way back home. And through the joy and pain that our lives bring, we can do hard things. Yeah, we can do hard things. Yeah, we can do hard.