Whether it’s a parent, a child, a partner or roommate, if you are in a relationship, there will be a time when someone completely gets under your skin.
If we find ourselves keeping a packed overnight bag in the trunk of our car, here are some ways to reboot the happier aspects of our relationships.
1.) Every morning and evening, take a scrap of paper and write down something you love, admire or respect about the person.
Put the scrap in a jar. Try every day to think of different things. Do this for two weeks, even though your feelings about the situation will change. Take out the notes and sort them, putting the similar ones together. This will give you a good “outline” of what makes the relationship work for you.
2.) When the person is really getting to you, take a visual snapshot.
Their tantrums, whining, complaining or criticizing. Get the facial expression and body language memorized. (This serves two purposes: you will use the image later, and it is terrifically disconcerting when a person knows they are behaving badly, to have someone scrutinize them.) Do the same thing when you have a wash of loving feeling toward the person.
Now close your eyes, breathe and imagine the misbehaving person getting smaller and smaller until you can hold him in the palm of your hand. Surround them with a bubble and let them float away. Next, imagine the person you love getting larger and larger, and enveloping you in a hug they way you were hugged when you were a child. Enjoy.
3.) My favorite is this one: extreme self-care.
Court yourself, buy yourself gifts and flowers and indulge your whims. Breakfast in bed on a Saturday morning for yourself alone, with a mimosa, your favorite food and the newspaper and/or remote control. Friction in a relationship is often because of an imbalance and giving yourself your heart’s desire can help to rebalance things. Continue for as long as necessary.
4.) Take a break.
Use the overnight bag. Get out in nature, go to a museum, and most importantly, do something the other person would not enjoy doing with you. Rediscover yourself. Reaffirm that you know what is best for you and that you are capable of providing it. Charge your inner batteries.
Author: Elaine DiRico
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Meg Cheng/Flickr