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

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

Yes, this really is the perfect time to transform your relationships with the difficult people in your life.

It’s the perfect time to more intentionally examine any circumstance in your life and your thoughts and feelings about it.

It’s the perfect time to gain greater understanding and insight into what’s bothering you and design a plan to manage it.

Take a look at Part 1 here and Part 2 here of this three part series if you’re just joining in to learn more about how to dive deeper into what’s upsetting you.

It’s your thoughts that are fueling your negative feelings.

If you’ve been following my advice for resetting difficult relationships, you now know that how you think is the driver or how you perceive difficult relationships. You’re gaining greater insight into how your own behavior might be contributing to the ongoing problems.

As much as we’d like to believe it’s all about what the OTHER PERSON says or does, we’re wrong about that.

News flash:  There’s no such thing as a difficult person.  There are just people.  They say and do things.  We have thoughts, feelings and reactions to what they do and say.  Period.

You might not like or want to beleive this reality but it is always operational, no matter what.

Think of it like gravity.  We move through our days without a second thought about gravity, but it is operational 24/7/365.  It is the same with your thoughts creating your feelings and your feelings driving your behavior.

It’s YOUR thoughts about what they say and do that cause you to interpret the person as difficult.  But the good news is that all those thoughts are optional.

Your brain is designed to look for evidence and solve problems.

Once you’ve identified your thoughts, it’s time to get curious about them.

Your brain is a problem solving machine.  It is always looking for evidence of what we think and believe to reinforce those thoughts and beliefs.

Ask yourself these key questions:

  • What if I’m wrong about this person?
  • Are those thoughts serving me, bringing me closer to what I want?
  • Do I like the results I’m getting in my life when I think those thoughts?
  • What are other ways I could interpret this circumstance?

Let’s look at the example from Part 1 about the woman’s thought about her stepdaughter.

Her stepdaughter decided not to attend the birthday party her husband had planned.

Her thought about her stepdaughter was:  “She’s so inconsiderate of her father and me.”

Now, let’s apply the useful questions listed above and see how our example woman might respond:

  • What if I’m wrong about this person?
      • I’m willing to consider that it’s possible I’m wrong about her, but I doubt it.
  • Are those thoughts serving me?
      • Not really.  It just fans the flames of dislike I have for the girl.  It keeps me in a state of agitation.  I’m always on the lookout for evidence that she’s being disrespectful and rude.
  • Do I like the results I’m getting in my life when I think those thoughts?
      • I don’t like feeling frustrated and resentful.  I don’t like all the complaining I do and the search for other’s to validate my negative assessment
  • What are other ways I could interpret this circumstance?
      • She is uncomfortable around me because she has never taken the time to get to know me.  When she feels lonely in a crowd of my friends and family, she doesn’t want to join in.  She still needs more time to adjust to her own feelings about her parents’ divorce and remarriage.  Maybe she is not as resilient as my children.  She struggles with change.  It’s not about me, it’s all about her.  She’s trying to protect her own feelings of frustration, resentment or disappointment.

Now it’s time to imagine new, believable thoughts that are in service of shifting your thinking about “difficult” relationships.

New thoughts must be BELIEVABLE to be useful.

Start to play with new thoughts you could think to gradually shift your traditional default thinking.  Write them down.

Try to imagine a thought which is just incrementally better than your default thought.  If you try to jump to a thought 180 degrees opposite from your default thought, your brain will balk.

You are best served by laddering your way to your “ideal” or most aspirational thought.

Ladder thoughts are like the rungs on the monkey bars from the playground of your childhood.

Remember how you would climb the ladder of the monkey bars, reach out your hand and grab the first rung?  Then you would release one hand and swing to the next rung on the ladder, repeating the movements to carry you across to the far side.

Creating new thoughts follows a similar pattern.  Yet you need to take some time to hang out on the next rung while you practice your new thought until it becomes more natural, or even habitual, before swinging to the next rung.  Or in this case, practicing the next new thought.

Taking the above example, some new ladder thoughts to think that could bring more peace and calm and less resentment might sound like these:

  • She’s just another human having her own human experience.
  • This has nothing to do with me, it’s all about her ability to manage her own feelings.
  • I can see that she is struggling to come to terms with our marriage.
  • It’s possible that I can interpret her behavior as her expression of her pain.

If you need help resetting a disappointing relationship, I’m here for you.

We can take a look at the circumstance and all the thoughts and feelings you have about it.

I can teach you how to shift your thinking to serve you in the best possible way.

Contact me right here, and we can get started.  Social distancing and home quarantine provide the ideal opportunity to get to work resetting any relationship that you want to see change.




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