Navigating Difficult Relationships
Updated: Jan 2
"What happens when someone else's injured inner child hurts you?" A few of my thoughts on how to navigate difficult relationships ....
1. Creating Emotional (and sometimes physical) Distance ~ An act of self-love
It is important to give myself space to process my feelings. This will require setting and adhering to emotional and physical boundaries. It does not always need to be a permanent boundary but one that allows for my emotional safety and personal space for new thoughts and understandings to emerge. I do not necessarily have to announce the space I am allowing myself, just be honest with myself in adhering to and honoring the boundaries I put in place.
2. Giving Grace ~ Accepting the person for who they are
Because of my own triggers, I may be seeing this person through the lens of my own pain. I must learn to recognize and own that my unresolved feelings will affect how I behave within my relationships. This will be equally true of the characteristics a difficult person is showing me. They have their own unresolved issues they are affected by. It is not an excuse, it is a reality. I must accept this person for who they are. I cannot change them nor is it my responsibility to change them. I must learn to be aware of any expectations I am placing on the other person and let those go. These are ways in which we expect someone to operate outside of how they currently know how to behave with respect to our relationship. Giving grace is recognizing the person with whom I have a difficult relationship is not just an adult "attacking" me, but also an injured inner child acting on a trigger. They may not even be consciously aware of what they are doing because it is likely a long held pattern or behavior. The person in front of me might be a solidly awesome person to other people but with me and in this moment, they are operating off an old, unresolved, and most-likely, shared story. It feels so personal, but a deep breath and a step back allows me to see that it isn't nearly as personal as I think it is. Give grace by recognizing we are all doing the best we can. We are all on a personalized journey of lessons, healing and growth. 3. Not Reacting ~ learning personal calming techniques, improving boundaries Recall when our children were little and they had a meltdown ~ you know the kind: kicking screaming, rolling around on the floor crying uncontrollably. As a part of parenting, we helped them by redirecting them. What we didn't do was be a part of the tantrum (reactionary behavior) down there on the floor with them. ;) Our injured inner child can be easily triggered into accessing that "tantrum mode" when faced with difficult relationships. Being able to separate the adult from the inner child is important! My goal is to not be a part of their "reaction" ... with adults, I am not responsible for changing or redirecting the other person, but instead utilizing tools and skills for managing my own feelings, actions and reactions! There are lots of activities that can be explored for each of these areas. It is not an overnight process so don't be discouraged. Each step requires a lot of self-evaluation, self-reflection and oodles of work on that very important subject of self-love. The deeper you dive into learning about yourself, the more you are able to dissect, explore and find acceptance with those difficult relationships.
The conversations and activities in our weekend retreats are designed to bring awareness to how "friction" affects us and how to get back to a state of flow. We will be focusing on the positive relationship with Self, trusting intuition, setting healthy boundaries, growth mindset, learning to receive and much more. And we’ve left plenty of time for relaxing, bonfires, laughter and bonding! Space is limited so don't miss out on our EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTS!