What do you do when you have a problem you just can’t solve with someone? Do you run away and wait for them to come to you? Do you lash out and say hurtful things? Do you ignore it? There are many paths that our primal self will take if we lack a framework for how we address problems as they come up in our daily lives. If there’s one thing for sure, there will always be challenges and bumps in the road in relationships. We are not the same, we all see things a little bit differently. Here are some ideas of how you might address a seemingly impossible situation in a relationship.
Identify Your Beliefs About the Situation-This step also could be called Self-Examination. This is where you look at your internal beliefs and write them down and get clear on the problem. What beliefs are you subscribing to about the other person or yourself? Identify tactical problems as well. Are you sharing a space that is too small? Do you wake up at different hours or keep your partner up at night because you watch TV too late? This is the step where you question it, you are not ignoring it, you are an investigative reporter gathering all of the information about the problem.
Put Yourself in Another’s Shoes-If your problem is a relationship issue, you’ll want to take the step of looking now outside of yourself and look at what the other person has gone through. Try to visualize how they might feel. This step tends to soften us and move us towards the other person. It also helps in de-escalating emotions. When you step outside of yourself and your beliefs it allows for compassion and heart-centered connection.
Identify Potential Solutions-Look at what is the best-case scenario? How can we work together? Use compassion and empathy rather than anger and rage. Write it out, look at both sides, and then determine what actions you can take now.
We are usually so caught up in our feelings and emotions that we want to protect ourselves from being hurt. When we run away or fight or forget to look at what the other person is going through we create separation instead of the desired closeness. Try these steps with a friend or family member and you’ll be amazed at how well it works! If you have a healthy partner, likely they will respond by moving closer to you and find a resolution. Everybody wins!