5 Tips to Detoxify Your Relationships
Lately, I’ve been getting feedback from a trusted friend that’s helping me realize that I’ve really been avoiding some stuff. The kind of stuff that I’ve been avoiding because to me, it feels ugly and it brings up feelings of shame and grief. It’s just so much easier to sweep this stuff under the rug, but it’s not healthy.
I’m realizing that it’s time to do some cleanup with one of my relationships and let them know what’s been bothering me. Chances are, you can relate to this on some level too (c’mon, get honest with yourself…no guilt, no judgement). Sometimes it just seems easier to sweep these feelings under the rug, or make excuses for someone (or our own) behavior, then it is to accept the reality of the situation and confront the issue head on. Doing so, after all, means you need to look at the situation that you’d rather avoid, which is often uncomfortable, even scary.
Asking for what you want and need from others is not selfish. Taking the time and energy to clean up yourself and your relationships is important. You see, when you avoid these things, they always find another way out. These unaddressed situations cause stress, can become fuel for depression and cause us to be cranky or overreact to situations with those that we love (those that are completely unrelated to the issue at hand that we have avoided dealing with!).
The American Institute of Stress states: “There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.”
So, not only is this cleanup integral in keeping our relationships healthy, but it is also integral in keeping our bodies healthy – physical, mental and emotional.
Here are some tips to help you detox your relationships with love and grace and get back on track in no time:
1. Get clear on your intentions. Ask yourself these questions: Why does this relationship need work? What is your role and how can you improve? What would you like the outcome to be? What will eventually happen if you don’t address the issue(s) at hand? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you do address the situation? I encourage you to write down your answers to these questions to help you get clear on what exactly you want to achieve. The process of writing things down can help to go into the conversation in a calm and loving manner.
2. Get support. Talk to a neutral 3rd party (someone who is not involved in the situation), such as a trusted friend, a counselor, or a coach. Talking about and reviewing your emotions towards the situation can be helpful. Depending on what the issue is, involving a neutral person by having them present during step four (below) may be beneficial.
3. Know what it is you want to say. I suggest writing this out. Start with something positive about what it is that you value in the relationship, then let the person know what’s been bothering you in a calm and loving tone. Here’s an example. When you (do/say _____), I feel __________. It would make me feel better if you __________. Don’t get defensive. Let them talk and truly listen. Relationships only work if both people are actively involved in the process, that includes respecting one another’s feelings.
4. Arrange a good time to meet. Make sure you have had enough to eat and are well rested. In cases where the other person is not open to meeting or talking, a letter or email may be sent. If you feel you just need to get something off your chest, but the issue doesn’t feel that a talk will necessarily help the situation, writing letter to hold onto or toss can be a therapeutic process. The important thing here is to clean up your side of the interaction as best you can so you know you’ve done your part in rectifying the situation.
5. Talk it out. Give the other person an opportunity to respond. Put yourself into their shoes and look at the situation through their eyes. Be prepared and open to compromise. Even if you don’t agree, it’s important to respect the other person’s feelings and opinions in order to come to a common ground, even if that means agreeing to disagree.
When we take action by clearing ourselves of this emotional clutter, we have the opportunity to reclaim our power and be open to all the beauty life has to offer.
Cherie Paschal is a mom, Certified Health Coach, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a writer.It was through her own personal journey with food allergies and chronic fatigue, that she decided to earn her certification as a certified health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2013. Cherie completed her NLP Master Practitioner training in 2011.
Cherie is passionate about guiding people towards more loving and peaceful relationships.
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