Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Difficult Ones

We're all involved in relationships, and no two are alike. The easy ones bring us joy and comfort. The impossible ones may stay for awhile, but most of the time they don't last. The difficult ones may take some work, but we usually feel they're worth keeping. And each one is there for a purpose, to bring a blessing and/or a lesson. No matter what, our life is blessed by people.

Usually we choose to keep the easy relationships and release the impossible ones. But how about the difficult ones that you want to keep, but dealing with them is such a struggle? maybe those are the ones to focus on, because those may be the ones you will learn and grow with the most.

There are two approaches with difficult people that have worked well for me.

1. In order to keep a difficult relationship, you may have to alter your expectations to avoid disappointment. Everyone has things they can give to others and things they can't give. Some can fix problems, some are comforting, some are fun, some give good advice, some are good listeners, etc. But no one is all of these, so we can't expect anyone to be everything to us. Learn what the other person has to give, and don't expect something else from them. If you need understanding, go to someone who can be understanding. (You don't go to a hardware store for bread) And forgive them for what they can't give.

2. You may also have to change the way you relate to a person. If there's conflict when you try to discuss deeper, personal issues with someone, but it's absolutely necessary, then do it. But try to generally relate to them on a lighter, more surface level, so as not to step on thin ice. Avoid areas in which they become defensive. A person you care a lot about may have inner fears or insecurities that cause troublesome behavior. Maybe it's fear of losing control, losing position, revealing their weaknesses, or some other hidden fear. We all try to protect ourselves in some way. Try to understand where they're coming from, and help them feel safe with you.

I know all this seems like a lot of work, but you may find this is one of your best relationships and well worth your time and effort. You may wonder why you should have to do all the work. Well, you shouldn't, but you can't change another person. You can only change yourself. Eventually, the other person may change too as a result of your new approach, but if not, and you can't live with it, then you can think about letting go.

Above all, always approach every relationship with love and as much understanding as you can muster. Everything in the universe is energy, and love is the most healing energy there is. You put it out, and it's bound to come back from somewhere.

Love energy to everyone.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Marilyn

    I like this thread; i have been with my SO for 5 years and so many people tell me to leave because it has been such hard work i sometimes think even my therapist wonders why i am still there! What people dont understand is that in being in this relationship i have learned so much about myself. Also when things are good they are really good.
    I have managed to lower my expectations; and in doing this i got more from him; the one i struggle with is the way i relate to him; but this is something i need to work on.(Along with everything else!!!)

    If you would like a read of my blog which is about my inner journey then here you go!