Difficult Relationships - It’s Never Too Late Coaching

Difficult Relationships

When you think about a difficult relationship, you probably blame the difficulty on the other person.
With righteous indignation, you can catalogue many examples of their words and actions which have hurt, frustrated and angered you.
Just thinking about these examples can cause negative emotions to surge.
It’s easy to remember the various shades of disrespect, insensitivity, hostility,  selfishness, deceitfulness, and argumentativeness you’ve experienced.
And the lying, anger, rudeness, thoughtlessness, cluelessness, and all manner of other awful offenses.
Think about this:  Just the thought of all the things has caused feelings to well up you probably weren’t even in touch with a few minutes ago.
Can you feel the escalating emotional vibrations in your body right now?

What makes a relationship difficult?

You might reply, “Why it’s the difficult person, of course.   Right?”

I’d have to say, “Not so fast…”

Humans are going to do what humans do.  They’re thoughts about their own perceived self-interest motivate their behavior.
Their choices are a reflection of what’s going on in their own inner world.
The sentences in their minds explain the stories they have told themselves based on their lived and imagined experiences.
The judgements they have made.
The values they have formed or chosen to disregard.
Our self-talk is non-stop.  Actually, we think between 60-70,000 thoughts each day.  That’s a lot of chatter!
We think their narratives on repeat, grooving deep neural pathways in their brains.
This means that it becomes easier and easier to fall into these thought patterns because they offer the path of least resistance.
That’s how all our stories we tell ourselves again and again become our default thinking.

The brain is structured to conserve energy

It’s easier for thoughts to travel the well-worn neural pathways and offer up the same old sentences again and again.

If our brains could talk, they might say, “Damn any new evidence that could alter the story line.”  or ” Don’t confuse me with the facts.”
It’s not too hard to understand that you have no direct control over what another grown up decides to think, feel, say or do.
But it’s hard to take that into consideration when dealing with difficult people and choosing your response.

It’s possible for another person to willingly do what we would like

In loving, caring relationships, compromise and responsiveness to someone’s feelings, wishes and desires create and amplify harmony, love and connection.
That’s what you ideally want to experience in your marriage and stepfamily.

If you have a dysfunctional relationship with another adult, you are well aware you are dealing with a person who is unreceptive to your influence.

To have influence, receptivity and willingness are essential.

But what about you?
Just remember, there is one person, and only one, over whom you have total control 100% of the time.  YOU!
Are you receptive or willing to be influenced by others?

It’s your thoughts and feelings about the relationship that make it difficult. 

This is a two-way street.

And it’s the other person’s thoughts and feelings about the relationship with you that are causing their own anger, frustration and awfulness.
You have no power to stop a gossip from gossiping, a ranter from ranting, a yeller from yelling, a liar from lying, or a cheater from cheating.
What you choose to think, feel, say and do is always up to you.  No matter how badly someone else is behaving.

You can manage a difficult relationship

Establish a plan of action in advance of the next confrontation.  You can always decide how you will behave when the difficult person erupts, no matter what.

Want more help?  Let’s figure out a plan that supports YOU in taking the best next steps.

Check out the right-hand column.  Click on the button to contact me right there.
You don’t have to waste one more minute spinning in misery or confusion.

Let’s start a conversation about difficult relationships.

  • Who are the most difficult people in your step family?
  • What can you do to shift the power dynamic in your favor?

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