Cooperative Communication Skills -- Internet Resource Center
Library of Essays, Papers and Articles
A Brief View of Confessing and Amending
by David Richo, Ph.D.

Partners can practice an occasional confession to one another using these steps:

1.  Acknowledge to yourself how you may have failed in mirroring your partner by any willful deficit in attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, or allowing freedom of individuality. Have you refused to address, process, or resolve issues? Have you placed selfish concerns over those of the relationship, shown disrespect, lied, betrayed, disregarded feelings, let your anger erupt into abuse, disappointed your partner, broken an agreement, denied responsibility for your actions or choices, gossiped, not respected privacy, taken advantage, used your partner, manipulated or been controlling, been greedy, acted in a retaliatory way, etc.? Devising your list requires a careful examination of conscience. It calls for a willingness to see your own inadequacies and a desire to work on them.

The remaining steps are done together:

2. Admit your deficiencies in words.

3. Show feelings of sadness and regret (the essence of repentance).

4. Take action by making amends directly to your partner.

5. Resolve not to repeat the behavior. This may include making a plan
to police yourself or asking for feedback throughout the coming week.

6. Appreciate and thank one another for this opportunity.

This program makes for a move from alienation to reunion, even a closer union between you. It also leads to the creation of an atmosphere of mended failures.  It fosters healthy vulnerability and diminishment of ego which leads to less hurtful behavior. The purpose of this and of all our work is to let a loving response come out first rather than an ego reaction.

Where's that palace whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not?       -Othello 

The Cooperative Communication Skills Extended Learning Community thanks Dr. Richo for his many contributions to this site and its publications.  His free e-book, Human Becoming, is available through this site by clicking here.  To order books by Dr. Richo, from bookstores throughout the world, please visit:



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