Want Improved Relationships?
“Encourage one another & build each other up” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Ahh the summer heat! The rising numbers of Covid-19 cases and uncertainties of feeling unprotected from contracting “the virus.” The day to day reporting of violence and hate taking place in our own country. Job loss/changes. Social distancing. Wearing a mask. What do all these ingredients have in common? If you guessed an effect on relationships, you are absolutely right!
Hopefully you have been coping pretty well over the last several months but what about the times when you’ve had a difficult day and you find yourself using words that hurt or make loved ones feel less than? Or what about the times when you yell or mutter unkind words under your breath that later you wished you had not said? Or what about when you expect different outcomes and find yourself getting angry and upset and feel the need to let everyone around you know?
If you want to discover one very quick way to begin making improvements in your relationships, stick around.
Here are the steps to take:
First, acknowledge and accept what you are feeling (anger, frustration, disappointment, fear, etc).
Once you are aware of your feelings, count to 10 before opening your mouth. This process will allow you to gain more control over your prefrontal cortex (the supervisor of your brain) and become more prepared for the next step.
Next, using the T.H.I.N.K model…..Ask yourself…… “Is what I am about to say”
Evaluate. If what you are about to say does not meet all 5 of the criteria, then it’s time to re-think another way of saying it. How can you change your words to create a better and more positive conversation?
Here’s the deal, we all get upset and we all need to be heard and express ourselves at times and that’s a really good thing. But…. speaking in a way that expresses our feelings without hurting someone is critical to a positive outcome. Need some tips? Start by simply naming what you are feeling to the other person in a warm and calming tone. Let your loved one know your intention is not to upset or hurt them, but you have something difficult to say. Ask if this is a good time for them to listen to you. Try it! I would love to hear your feedback!
If you find yourself repeating a pattern of conflict engaging in heated conversations, consider the following:
How are things with you? Are you providing enough self-care to yourself? Are you eating healthy, getting enough exercise, enough rest, enough quiet time for meditation, devotions, and prayer? Are you self-medicating with food, alcohol, supplements, or prescription drugs? Do you have something in your day/week to look forward to? Are you connecting with positive people who support and love you? What is one change (even small) that you can make today to begin to improve your life and your relationships?
If you find yourself experiencing more difficult days than good days, maybe it’s time to talk to someone openly and honestly. Maybe it’s a safe close friend. Maybe it’s your doctor. Maybe it’s a life coach? The truth is, there is help and you do not have to struggle alone! You and your loved ones will thank you for taking this next step!
Remember…..Your life matters!
Need some help figuring it out? I would love to have a conversation with you!
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