Social Distancing Provides the Ideal Opportunity for Difficult Relationship Resets (Part 2 of 3) - It’s Never Too Late Coaching

Social Distancing Provides the Ideal Opportunity for Difficult Relationship Resets (Part 2 of 3)

Transforming a difficult relationship is entirely possible.  You don’t even need the other person’s cooperation or presence to do it.

You can do it all by yourself.

That’s why now, when social distancing is required of all of us, it’s an ideal time to make headway.

In last week’s blog post, you learned the first two steps in the transformation process I teach to shift your thoughts and feelings about difficult relationships in your life.

Steps 1 & 2 : Identify a factual circumstance and then do a Thought Download.

Last week, I asked you to identify a factual circumstance. Next I asked you to write a Thought Download to capture all the related thoughts you’ve had about that circumstance.

I offered this example to help you understand the process:


Husband’s daughter said these words to her father, “I’m not coming to the birthday party for your wife.”

Your Thought Download:

“It’s my birthday party. She’s so inconsiderate of her father and me.  She always tries to avoid family gatherings, especially when she knows my family will be there.  She doesn’t like me or my family and has no problem showing her disdain.  I just want all of us to get along. We don’t have to be a blended family where everyone just melds. Or be best friends.

Come on, where’s the common courtesy here?  I know she’s still upset that her father remarried.  Maybe she’ll never get over it.  Maybe she won’t ever accept me.  She’s so immature.  Doesn’t she want her father’s happiness?  I really don’t like her.  She’s so rude.

She should show some respect for me and her father.  We deserve it.  He paid for her college and graduate school education and she doesn’t show any gratitude or appreciation.  She never offered even a simple thank you.

I’m sick and tired of her inconsiderate behavior and this is just another example of it.  If it were up to me, I wouldn’t include her in any celebrations.  When she does show up, she’s always late.  She has a mean expression on her face.  She’s always sighing and rolling her eyes.  I want to stay as far away from her as possible.  I can’t believe I’m devoting so much mental energy to her.  She’s not worth it.  I’m over it.  But I’m still hurt.”

I asked you to write your own Thought Download out on paper and save it for this week’s blog post.

If you haven’t completed steps one and two yet, complete them now.  Then continue with the next steps.

You can read Part 1 of 3 right here for more guidance so you can catch up and complete those two steps.

Now let’s examine your own Thought Download.

Let’s pick just one thought, any thought you want.  Let’s see what emotion you feel when you think it.

Using our example above, I’m going to continue to take a look at thoughts, feelings, actions and results.  Here are all the steps to follow to achieve your difficult relationship reset.

Step 1:  Identify the factual circumstance.


Husband’s daughter said these words to her father, “I’m not coming to the birthday party for your wife.”

Step 2:  After you’ve written your thought download, pick just one thought and write it down.

It doesn’t matter which one.  There’s no right or wrong thought to pick.


She’s so inconsiderate of her father and me.

Step 3:  Ask yourself, “When I think that thought, how does it make me feel?”   Observe the feeling it creates when you think it and write it down.



Step 4: Ask yourself, “When I feel annoyed, how do I show up?  What are my actions, reactions or inactions?”

This step can have a lot of descriptions of your behaviors and thought processes.


Here’s what I do:  Fume.  Complain and criticize her to my husband.  Replay in my mind how I should just cut her out of my life.  Tell my own children what a brat she is. Complain to my friends.  Have a negative attitude about her.  Avoid her.  Try to be out or busy when she wants to see her Dad at our house. Try to get out of going out to dinner with her and my husband.  Avoid having to stand near her or talk to her at gatherings and celebrations.  Ruminate on how disrespectful she is and how she’s damaging my relationship with my husband.  Blame her for all the tension she brings into my marriage.

Step 5:  Now take a closer look at the results in your life that emanate from what you think, feel and do.

Start the sentence that describes your result with the word “I”.  The results are always about you, not someone else’s result.


I am inconsiderate of her and my husband.

Step 6:  Notice the Think–>Feel–>Act Cycle in play.

Can you see all the dominoes that stack up beginning with the thoughts you think?

  • Thoughts generate your feelings.
  • Feelings drive your actions.
  • Actions create the results you see in your life.

Your results in life are always a reflection of your thoughts.

You can change your results by changing your thoughts.

Here are the first questions to ask yourself once you understand the cycle:

  • Is this the result I want in my life?
  • Is the result serving me?
  • Who do I want to be in this circumstance?
  • How do I want to show up for myself?”

Now you’re ready to apply this strategy to any difficult relationship in your life.

Grab a sheet of paper and do the following:

  • On the left hand side write each of these words, leaving space for more writing between:
    • Circumstance
    • Thought
    • Feeling
    • Action
    • Result
  • Identify your factual, neutral Circumstance.  Write down a specific example of something the difficult person said or did that you decided was a problem.
  • Write a Thought Download about that problem circumstance.
  • Pick one thought and write that under the circumstance.
  • Name the feeling that thought creates.
  • Describe what you do or don’t do as a result of that thought and feeling.
  • Identify the result the thought, feeling and actions create.

Change your thinking to change your result.

Want different results? Want to change how you think and feel and behave toward a difficult person in your life.

You’re well on your way.

Be sure to read Part 3 next week to learn the final step to shifting your perspective.

If you need help right now,with a difficult person that’s driving you crazy, you’re in the right place.

Let me know you’re ready for your FREE Strategy Call right here.

Share this post

Share this post

Enter your name and email to get into my weekly Newsletter

We respect your privacy and will never sell or share your information.