Why? Because the memory of all the disagreements, strife, bad feelings and resentments get in the way. You might as well put on a pair of glasses that are not only cracked, but dirty and distorted as well!
So let’s say you’ve made the decision to take a good hard look at your marriage or other significant relationship with a friend or family member. How do you do it?
Try these 6 steps:
- Start by venting. Sit with your journal or a computer document (or an email addressed to yourself) and simply pour out all your frustration at this person. Get it off your chest even if the issues are ten years old.
- Now that you’ve released some of your tension (probably not all of it, but don’t obsess over trying to get “everything” out since that will take too long and dredge up more hurt) recognize that along the way, you contributed to this problem even if only by staying in the relationship. Be willing to share the blame for the state the relationship is in.
- Describe the other person in a few short sentences… Ouch! Did you really mean all that nasty stuff?
- Imagine this person as a wounded soul. See that they have pain and are struggling with life. Take another stab at describing them, and this time imagine you’ll get paid $100 for each genuinely nice thing you can say about them…. Okay, that’s great! You managed to break through your pissed-off state and notice they have good qualities that you’ve probably ignored for a long time.
- Think back to when the relationship was a good one. Think about the way you interacted with this person. Be honest about whether you showed your real self to them at that time, or if you played a people-pleaser/ manipulator game of only saying things you thought they wanted to hear, so they’d like you.
- Write for 5 minutes on the topic: “What I want from this relationship today” — set a timer and just write quickly without editing or watching your spelling. Don’t “over think” this, just put down your immediate reaction to the topic.
If you follow the suggestions I’ve given you, you should have a new perspective on this relationship at this point. You will probably also have a better grasp on the proactive steps you can take to mend bridges or to realize that you have hurt each other too much and the kinder thing would be to wish them well and say goodbye.
It’s amazing what a difference it can make in your stress level when you TAKE AN ACTION! Learn more about doing this in my bestselling stress management book, “Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today” — the ebook is at my gethappytoday.com site and you can have instant access for less than the price of a small pizza.
your happiness guru,
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