I asked Sara to pick me up from work this afternoon, not knowing that she was in a rush to pick up a friend from the airport. By the time we got home, she had fifteen minutes to eat and run. In addition, she couldn't figure out how to find the flight information for the friend she was picking up. Needless to say, she felt rushed and irritated.
I posed a few possible options for making lunch and picking up our friend, but my options were met with Sara snapping back at me in irritation. For a moment, I was tempted to make the situation out to be about me, or that she was attacking me. However, I knew she was irritated over her situation and not really at me. In situations like these, those of us on the receiving end wonder if there will be a repair that takes place. Will they take ownership for their actions? Will they move towards change?
In this instance, Sara made the repair about a minute later. She walked over to me and said, "I'm sorry I snapped at you. I'm just irritated about the time and that things aren't going my way. I love you."
That repair made all the difference. Every time that Sara makes a repair to me, or I make a repair to her, it builds more and more trust. We don't always have to get it right in the moment.