This triggers the hell outta me.
Impact vs intent.
I was scared shitless when I first heard this term.
I didn’t know how to interpret it. It made me feel like my intent didn’t matter.
I felt that if my words hurt you, you need to own your feelings around that because It meant more that I didn’t mean to hurt you vs the reality that I did hurt you.
I was triggered, I felt like I was being accused of something that I didn’t do.
And yet somehow I knew this was important to explore. That was 8 months ago, and I think I finally understand.
Men need to know this, it’s a common belief when we relate and communicate with women.
We do not get a free pass to hurt our woman’s feelings because “that’s not what we meant”.
So, who can say they have never got defensive, and do what they can to justify what they said, and maybe even argue why she should not feel hurt?
I have tried to defend. And in fact, probably gaslight a woman for feeling the way she did. I was operating from a wounded boy place, not a grounded, loving man. This has been a hard lesson for me, as I have always felt like a very caring man. While that may have been true, I was also not owning how my words or actions hurt the women in my life.
A scared, emotionally immature 12 year old boy showed up and tried to show her why that wasn’t the case, why I didn’t mean to hurt her. Hindsight, she knew I was not trying to hurt her. She wanted to be validated in that in fact she was hurt by my words or actions.
Let’s break down what was going on internally for me, and a lot of men in this situation. We feel that if it’s my fault she is hurt, she will leave. Perhaps we feel it means we are a bad person. Maybe we think they will leave if we don’t convince them we are actually good. Insert your story here ________.
Being a human can be messy at times. One attribute that men( and women but I am speaking to men) have is trying to control. If we have hurt our woman, that means we lost control, and the defensive behaviour, trying to show here that’s not what we meant means we lost control, and that can feel like it knocks us off balance.
One of our jobs as men is to be grounded AF, which if we are, allows us to see this impact vs intent subject from a heart-centered place, and hold our own hearts and triggers from our old wounds and stories first so that we can, in turn, hold our partner’s hearts in the times we hurt her.
Why is this important? Because we need to be able to see what our woman needs from us at that moment. A heartfelt apology for hurting her, learning not to repeat the behavior that led to hurting her, and reconnecting with her heart is what she needs from you.
She knows you didn’t mean to hurt her (and if you did, you have a whole other set of issues you need to look at) and she wants to feel safe in your relationship container again. She is telling you you hurt her because she WANTS to reconnect.
So, do the work to take care of your own triggers so you can be in your heart when she brings how you impacted her to you.