Not every relationship challenge has to be dissected, is associated with trauma, or means that we have anxiety or relational avoidance. Relationships can sometimes be challenging for all of us, even those of us who feel fairly confident relating to others.
Relationships can sometimes be hard because humans are constantly evolving and are also innately complex.
Perhaps rather than constantly diagnosing ourselves and each other, we may be better served by normalizing and increasing our tolerance for unavoidable relationship challenges.
Learning to navigate the challenging terrains of our own inner world and the inner world of another is not for the faint of heart.
It can be really hard work.
Joy and connectedness is easy to be with.
But many relationships don’t dwindle down because they are having too much joy or connection (yes of course some do).
Many relationships struggle because challenging emotions come up and they are difficult to be with and tolerate.
Many relationships struggle because when challenging emotions come up, they are pushed back down, ignored, create polarization, or become blamed on the other person.
We each have to discover our own unique level of relational difficulty we can navigate and tolerate.
But we must all come face to face with some level of difficulty if we are in relationships for the long haul.
How do you navigate relational challenges?
How do you hold them?
What stories/fears come up for you when you are faced with them?
Can you differentiate between your own challenges that are awakened by relationship versus the challenges that are solely relational?
Do you reach out and let loved ones into this space?
Do you navigate these terrains alone?
The personal and the relational are not always so distinct.
Sometimes they blend.
Sometimes there are no clear answers here.
Sometimes we simply need a permission slip to acknowledge that relationships can be hard, and that doesn’t need to mean that anything is wrong with them🌻
7 hours ago
This morning, my friend Adam from @fixyourpicker hit me with an absolutely fantastic email talking about the tendencies of the different attachment styles in conflict.
Granted, this isn’t universal! You may be an anxious heart who handles conflict like a pro and always shoots for a win-win between partners. You could also be an avoidant who takes losses like nobody’s business… or a secure who struggles with argument.
People are complex!
But it does seem to be the tendency of anxious hearts to say “I don’t want to argue! I’ll just do it their way so that everything goes smoothly.”
The healthiest conflict resolution is when both parties want a win for the other. And be careful, fellow anxious attachers… we often think we know what’s best for our partners. Resist the urge to manage their happiness and REALLY LISTEN to what they want.
Learning the art of listening and compromise… standing up for what we really want but ALSO being able to give our partners a bit of what THEY want (even if it scares us a bit) is where secure, healthy resolution lives. ❤️
A skilled couples counselor can help you get there with a partner. Also, one of my favorite books… “Difficult Conversations” by Douglas Stone. 💗
(You can find this on my linktree at Linktr.ee/anxiousheartsguide for this and more book recommendations!)
Many people want to know what red flags 🚩look like in relationships, but not enough seek to learn how to address them. How do you release yourself from a toxic relationship that you're deeply attached to? How much times does it take? 🤨
The truth is, there are no clear cut answers. 😩 But there are a few best practices in the process of moving on. 🙏🏽👇🏽
1. Create space to move on. Releasing yourself from the situation will require you to refrain from the ways you were connected to that person (for example: communication, social media, dates).
2. Accept that you may need time to grieve the relationship. Take care of yourself during this process.
3. Do the inner work. Focus on why the relationship no longer serves you. Most importantly, think about what the experience taught you about yourself.