Claim Your Best Relationship and Life with the B.L.I.S.S. Method
Posted On February 25, 2022
Claim Your Best Relationship and Life with the B.L.I.S.S. Method (A Case Study)
“Mom, you guys have been bickering all day!”
My teen daughter’s complaint got my attention. Our family had just returned home after a long day in the car. I thought it went well enough. I paused to look at it from her perspective.
My husband and I sniped at each other about three issues. Mostly, it was about how each other drives. We weren’t bickering for the whole day, but for my daughter, it was too much.
I could have responded to this situation by:
- feeling bad that my daughter will remember this day as a negative experience,
- arguing with her about her perception,
- making a critical comment to my husband about his choices,
- telling her to mind her own business.
Instead, I got curious. any response uses my energy. I chose to use that energy differently. More productively.
I used the B.L.I.S.S. Method to understand what happened.
B: Best Self
L: Like/love factor
S: Show up
Best Self: Had I brought my best self to the day?
I was tired, worn out, and frustrated. I had been pushing too hard at work without enough rest or sleep. I’d been fueling this push with chocolate for quick fixes of energy. The trip itself felt like an interruption to my schedule and productivity. No, that was not my best self at all.
Like/love Factor: Was I in touch with the like/love factor with my husband?
My husband does many things that are helpful, sweet, and kind. There are also times that he is unthinking, distracted, irritable, and tired. Both exist at the same time in each of our interactions. When I forget the good stuff, my irritation level goes though the roof. Instead of saying, “Please don’t do that,” I give him a list of reasons why that act was insensitive and unkind. I become oversensitive to feeling like he took me for granted.
The like/love factor means that I give him credit for the things he does well. It doesn’t usually mean that I ignore how he hurts me. It means that I deal with those issues while I am grounded by connection. It helps me see the action in a positive context.
Invitation: Have I been inviting?
I wanted my husband to travel with us. But I was so caught up in my own spiral of irritation that I wasn’t sure if he knew that. He didn’t know that I was glad to have his company. I could have shifted the whole day for both of us if I had focused on my gratitude that he was there.
Show Up: How did I show up? Did I use my relationship skills?
I give myself some credit here. We didn’t have an argument. We were bickering which was tolerable. I spoke to him without using words or accusations that would have pushed his buttons. I told him what he did that bothered me. And I ended it. There were other tools that I could have used, but overall, I didn’t do too badly. The one thing I wish I had done differently is how I used my tone of voice.
Safeguard: Did I safeguard the relationship?
I also give myself some credit here. I chose to let the bickering drop because I told him what was wrong. He did not immediately agree and apologize but he didn’t need to. I chose the relationship over getting him to agree. I still have an opportunity to improve this whole situation now by making a repair. When I offer a straightforward apology that takes responsibility for my own part, it helps me stand in my own integrity.
Using the B.L.I.S.S. Method helps me identify the missed opportunities. I don’t have to do anything about that trip, but I could. More importantly, I learned how I can make the next family trip better.
The most important thing I discovered through this is the cost of not taking care of myself. Since my attention to my own needs had been so poor, I didn’t bring many resources to that situation. I could have changed other pieces of the puzzle, but it became clear that this was the vital missing piece. This helps me focus on where to put my energy. Improving my self-care is not selfish—it’s a gift to myself and everyone around me.
The B.L.I.S.S Method can help you understand how you can change your relationship. As you go through it, you will have different insights than I had. It’s a framework to guide you to identify what you need to work on.
Using th B.L.I.S.S. Method doesn’t take more energy or time. I used the energy and time that I would have used:
- Feeling frustrated.
- Complaining to a friend.
- Listing my husband’s shortcomings.
- Making comments under my breath.
I became very clear on what I brought to the table and how I missed opportunities to connect, relax, and enjoy the day. I learned something important about myself.
You CAN improve your relationship. You won’t have to do all the work in the relationship. You won’t let your spouse off the hook for their unkind behavior.
Instead, you will feel empowered and confident. You will spend your energy wisely.