“So many people prefer to live in drama because it’s comfortable……it’s actually easier to stay because they know what to expect every day.”
I know, I know. It’s all good and well knowing what you want in an ideal world when it comes to relationships, but it can be hard to have any faith in your own ability to devise the ideal when things have gone so wrong before. Most people I have come across in my relationship coaching career have been less focussed on the ideal and more focussed on simply avoiding the emotional pain of making the same mistakes over and over again!
No doubt, break ups and relationship issues can be very painful situations. However, unless we make the commitment to deal with them appropriately and effectively, the impact of them can last within us and continue to colour our outlook indefinitely.
At least, that’s where I was when I came to coaching. No matter what I tried (introductions, internet dating, meeting guys at the gym!) I seemed to attract the same kind of guy into my life over and over, just with a different face. It was beyond toxic but I didn’t seem to have any control over it. I had everything going for me, I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong and I had well and truly had enough. I was 100% ready to learn how to re-write my relationship script.
And that’s the key, right there…..that willingness to accept that we don’t have all the answers and to be open to learning another way; THAT is what will ultimately help you to re-write your relationship script.
It is incredibly common that people hold back from relationships (or in relationships) for fear of being hurt or rejected. That’s why the main goal for coaching in this area is to not only to help clients create a belief system that works well for them, but also to clear out the past experiences and paradigms that don’t work, so that they can continually take the necessary steps to attract relationships that fit their value system and support their growth.
So how does it work? How can you let go of relationships that don’t serve you and break the pattern of unhealthy relationships?
For now, I just want to focus on dealing with the existing relationships in our lives that aren’t working. In our next blog installment, we will then move on to talk about the process for breaking the pattern and attracting new and healthier people into our lives.
In my experience, there are 5 methods for managing unhealthy relationships. In no particular order, these are:
- Remain a victim to it;
- Change it;
- Change your perspective of it;
- Accept it;
- Leave it.
Remaining a Victim to It
Remaining a victim to an unhealthy relationship includes accepting a feeling of loss of control, powerlessness, uncontrolled anger and oftentimes grief and depression. The danger of opting for this option is that remaining in a relationship that decreases our energy can drain us until nothing is left.
To identify if this is where you are, ask yourself, how willing are you to change this relationship? If your level of willingness is low then what are you prepared to do about it? If your answer is very little or nothing, then it’s a surefire sign that you are choosing to remain a victim to the relationship and keeping yourself stuck.
Change the Relationship
In every relationship, both people, as well as the relationship itself are always in a state of change. If one party grows more quickly or in another direction to the other person, there can be a knock on effect of stress, resentment or even anger.
The Truth is that we always have a choice whether to take proactive action to change a relationship. There is always scope to change some aspect of the relationship, so that you can remain in it and continue to benefit from it (perhaps in a way that wasn’t anticipated). This may involve releasing and reconciling differences, developing coping mechanisms or taking action from a more a self-aware place in order to shift the energy of those around you.
Changing Your Perspective On The Relationship
Rather than changing the relationship with new actions and behaviours, a relationship can be changed through modifying our own outlook and energy (rather like how we dealt with challenging Interpretations in one of our previous blog posts). If you remember, other people can only push the buttons that we already have!
Instead of blaming another person for our buttons why not embrace the opportunity to work through them? Asking yourself the following questions can also help you shift perspective:
- How can you look at your relationship through a fresh pair of eyes?
- How can you see the other person from a new vantage point?
- What qualities do you appreciate and how can you stay connected to your appreciation of these qualities?
Accept the Relationship
Accepting the relationship means suspending judgment, stress and feelings of burden associated with the relationship. You are accepting it just as it is and that “as it is” is ok. The relationship is an experience that doesn’t require anything but being at peace with where it is at this moment in time.
Leave the Relationship
If you cannot or will not remain in the relationship, change it, change your perspective of it or accept it, then your remaining option is to leave or terminate it. Be sure to respect yourself and the other person as human beings and know that sometimes our chemistry and make up is such that we cannot exist in relationship. There is no judgment necessary – it’s not good or bad, it just is.
So, before next time…..
I encourage you to review where you are in terms of your current relationships and ask yourself:
- How true to yourself do you feel in it?
- How in alignment is it with your values?
- How willing are you to accept it, change something or let it go?