Are you a person who has consistent relationship issues? Do you have certain patterns that keep you from connecting to the people in your life the way you’d like to?
You may need help identifying certain issues, triggers, and hot buttons causing you to react in ways which don’t serve you or the relationships you’d like to have.
I offer individual counseling to clients who are dealing with relationship issues or patterns that make marriages, romantic relationship, friendships, and parent-child relationships more difficult.
It can be a hard truth to accept. You are the key to making positive change in your life. The relationship ills you keep encountering have at least some of their roots in something you are doing or feeling. That’s not to say other people in your life always make the right choices, but you still get to choose how you respond to those choices.
This empowering approach doesn’t involve anyone else’s participation. Nobody else has to change. And that’s good news, because you can’t change anyone else, or make anyone else want to change.
But by addressing the problems you can address and control, you may find the other people in your life responding differently. And even if they don’t, you will respond differently, which means you might not be as hurt by the things they say or do. You may also find the courage to identify and walk away from toxic relationships.
Do you suffer from any of these common issues?
Fear of commitment, emotional unavailability, or an inability to open up to others can all make it hard to form close bonds, especially close romantic bonds. Sometimes these problems arise from traumatic or painful relationships in the past, and the beliefs those experiences foster within us.
Learning to communicate, to express your wants and needs, to discuss your emotions and to “let others in” is very fulfilling. But it also takes courage, and a self-awareness many people have trouble attaining on their own.
Some handle conflict too aggressively, sparking bitter fights that never lead to any real resolution. But avoiding conflict, sometimes to the point of ignoring your own thoughts and needs, can be just as destructive. It can even turn you to manipulative, passive-aggressive communication styles which drive wedges into your relationships.
Learning how to be assertive, rather than passive, aggressive, or passive-aggressive, is a skill which can take you far both in your personal relationships and in your professional relationships.
It’s vital to know what a relationship, or another person, can or can’t do for you. Putting other people on a pedestal or expecting them to make themselves responsible for your happiness is a recipe for disaster.
You can also cause significant relationship problems by having unrealistic expectations of yourself. This can lead to a scenario in which you bend over backwards trying to help or please others, only to become agitated and unhappy when they can’t or won’t return the favor.
These are just a few examples of the problematic patterns and issues which can keep you from developing the relationships you need and want to enjoy in your life. I can still help, even if you don’t see your specific issue here!
Seek help with relationship issues and conflict management as soon as you start to feel like you’re struggling to build the close, positive relationships you want to build. There’s no such thing as addressing these issues too early or too soon.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably already waited longer than necessary.
There are a number of therapeutic techniques which can help you get a better handle on your relationships. For example, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can help you learn to take a pause between having an emotion and reacting to it.
By observing the emotion you can ask yourself why you’re reacting the way that you are. Then, you can consciously choose your response. This gives you the power to choose a response that serves you and the relationship you’re trying to build, rather than offering a knee-jerk reaction that could have more to do with your past than your present. It can also give you space and time to practice empathy and understanding, and to reframe another person’s actions in a more positive light. It becomes far easier to communicate when you do this.
There are other strategies and techniques which can offer significant, positive life change. If you’d like to explore how I can help you manage conflicts and build better relationships, call me today.