My focus for June is “stressful relationships”
Please go to askevelynbrooks.com and type in the box what your biggest stress is right now, especially if it’s related to a relationship.
If that describes you or your mate, then you’ve got a chance to remove a lot of stress from your life, by learning how to have a thicker skin.
When our feelings are easily hurt, and we often find ourselves upset by what other people say and do, it’s tempting to put all the blame on them. In many, if not all, relationships an impartial referee could observe you secretly and you might be shocked when they came back with a scorecard splitting the guilt almost evenly between you and your spouse or significant other.
Why is that? Because in a relationship, even when one person is controlling and angry all the time, the reactions that the other person gives in response help perpetuate the unhealthy cycle. He yells, you cry and try to defend yourself. Or she rants and you give her a cold shoulder as punishment. Neither of these reactions shake up the relationship the way it needs.
But you can learn to stop taking everything personally. It requires building your self-esteem by doing esteemable acts.
Here are some ways to get a thicker skin:
- when your partner in this stressed relationship says something that you find hurtful, do not respond in your old way. Shrug and say, “Well, you may be right.” And leave the room to end the discussion instead of hanging around and waiting for a comeback
- spend time with supportive friends now and then instead of being so focused on this relationship
- let go of the idea that every remark has to hurt — simply let them fly past you instead of allowing them to hit your heart
- stop waiting to catch your mate saying something to hurt or upset you — keep busy with your own goals and interests
- practice a few phrases to say in response to the really mean comments, such as saying “I really don’t accept that remark” or “That really hurt my feelings and I’d appreciate if you don’t talk to me that way” — learn to stand up for yourself politely and stop being a doormat
- as you put your energy into other projects, practice positive affirmations to strengthen your inner core
Learn more about positive thinking and how to have healthier relationships in my stress management book “Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today” — you can get the ebook here and start reading it right away — click here
your happiness guru,