3 Steps to Save a Relationship
Relationships are essential for humans as we have an innate desire to connect and belong. It’s true that a person can literally die due to a lack of genuine and healthy relationships. For a person with high stress and anxiety, it can be difficult, to say the least, to connect with others. I know you know what I’m talking about!
In fact, anxiety and stress are usually toxic to relationships. They like to push isolation, discord, and disconnect, right?
If you have stress and anxiety, relationship skills are critical. They’ll help you maintain, sustain, and grow your relationships. However, you need to be careful not to become overwhelmed with how to do this, I mean, HELLO anxiety! Here are 3 simple steps to save/heal/grow a relationship with anxiety.
These tips work for any relationship, including but not limited to a spouse, boss/employee, coworkers, co-parenting, children, friends, family, etc. Let’s get started with saving your relationships.
CHOOSE how you see them.
To improve the relationship, you need to come from a mindset of solutions and compassion.
When you are interacting with a person and seeing/defining them as a jerk, unhelpful, or mean, you are right. You will see it and get it.
When you see them as being helpful, needing help, being hurt, or afraid then you have a possibility for growth and healing. You’ll have something to work with and the capacity to connect and have a better relationship.
How you view them is your mindset towards them.
Let’s put the shoe on the other foot and someone you know is seeing you as a b!tch. Let’s call this person “Beth”. Imagine if you’re hurt, whether it was about what Beth said or did or something else, and you reacted in a defensive manner towards Beth. How she responds to you most likely will make matters worse as she sees you as a B!tch.
However, what if Beth sees you as a friend and can tell you are hurting. Her mindset of compassion will allow her to respond in a more loving way to you. If she brings compassion to you, then you can begin to heal and you will feel understood.
Ok, let’s put the shoe back on your foot. Imagine Beth is hurt and reacting in a defensive manner, you can choose to see them as a needing to be heard or hurt (or whatever) instead of as an angry b!tchy person. This will help you connect to Beth and “conquer” her defensiveness.
This step is simple. You are looking deeper than what the other person is showing you. You are challenging your thoughts and choosing to view them differently. See them as a human. Recognize their pain. Seek the healing.
Boom. Relationship transformed.
CHOOSE generous assumptions.
This is another simple yet powerful step.
You have control of what you assume, so make your assumptions kind and generous.
This is similar to the first step about how you view them.
Let’s use “Alex”. First, are you comparing yourself to Alex? That doesn’t help.
Are you assuming Alex, your co-worker is out to get you, lazy, ignorant or controlling? If you assume this then it creates a barrier to connecting, right? I mean, I wouldn’t want to be around someone that is controlling.
The above assumptions are limiting and stopping BOTH OF YOU from getting along.
To change this, offer a more generous assumption. Explore what else is possible by getting curious.
Look for the positive. Maybe Alex is suffering from insomnia. You might be able to relate to that.
Maybe Alex’s mom is in the hospital and she is afraid/scared of her mom dying. She might like to keep those details to herself and not want to “burden” others. But due to her fears, she is defensive, off in “Lala” land, or extra controlling at work. I mean, she feels out of control and NEEDS something in control. You might be able to relate to that.
Maybe Alex is overwhelmed in her job and that is leading to displays of “laziness”. Perhaps offering to help with their workload, training, or something else can bridge their overwhelm barrier.
If you come from a default assumption with compassion and positivity – how can that change your relationships?
I see it working out for you.
CHOOSE actions towards the desired outcome(s).
The last simple step is choosing to take action to what you want the end result to be.
Think: what do you need/want/desire as the outcome? Is it teamwork, support, respect, connection?
Think: What action/response will get this outcome?
It certainly is not a cold shoulder, gossiping, yelling, or staying disconnect. Wouldn’t you agree? So, what actions do you need? How about a calm tone, compassion, curiosity, or listening without judgment?
Imagine the impact you will have on yourself and the other person with a mindful, thoughtful, helpful, compassionate presence. Rise to the challenge and bring that to the table. You are capable, I know it!
All in all
Stop stress and anxiety from being toxic to relationships by using these 3 simple steps to get you from angst to connection and save and improve any relationship.
Before/during/after using these 3 simple steps it’s good to ask yourself, how did I contribute to this situation? How can I contribute to the solution?
I know this question can be uncomfortable as people tend to think things are being done TO them and take things personally.
It’s wise to bring this question into your life as it takes 2 for a relationship to work, or to flounder, and you do contribute something. What was it? Are you working towards connection or disconnection?
Again, these tips can work with and in any relationship, such as with your spouse, co-parenting, etc … any relationship you have buy-in and see value from.
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