Posted by Susan V. Brewer in Balance, Codependency, Coping Skills, Family Issues, Feelings, Relationships, Self-Care 25 Jun 2015

We all have them with our spouses, children, friends, coworkers and extended family and others we come in contact with on a regular basis. The question or problem for some of us is when they are not working out so well or are causing us some pain or conflict. How do we maintain relationships when we are not happy with them? It all depends on the person, the situation and what we have invested in the relationship. So it can be complicated or it can be quite simple. All of us go through experiences the same or different depending upon how we grew up or just because of our life experiences. So trying to make a decision about what to do when we feel we are at a crossroads can be quite difficult and challenging.
We need to first identify what the problem is and is it solvable? Which basically means is the other party involved willing to take a look at their behavior, accept responsibility and be open to change? The same question goes to us also. Sometimes this can be cut and dry and other times it is not especially if it comes to family. I believe it is more difficult to be confrontative and hold someone close to you accountable when they are family, especially if we have strong ties to family and the importance of family. It also depends upon the dynamic of our relationship with them, what we know about them and what they are capable of and will all of that be enough for us. I feel that we all at some point will need to compromise in all of our relationships that we feel are important to us. The ones that have less meaning we can say what we need to, set a boundary and walk away if they are not invested or willing to change to maintain the relationship.
Compromise does not mean letting someone walk all over of us or treat us badly. It is about setting boundaries and guidelines. We want others to treat us well, so we have to teach them that if they have not been. If they are unwilling to change their ways this is where we would need to make a decision about their value and importance in our lives and if we continue to have a relationship with them we do it with detachment. Detachment means that we remove ourselves emotionally from them so as to not get hurt by them. We do not take things personally. We engage in a relationship with them from a distance all the while preserving our values and beliefs. Detachment is a way of protecting ourselves and them from things having to escalate and being any more complicated than they need to be. It is a process of letting go.
Detachment can work in all of our relationships with others who are problematic for us. It requires a level of trust and acceptance that we can ask for what we need in our relationships with others and still meet their needs on some level. It is about giving up our need to be in control and letting others be who they are and live their life as they wish. So it depends on who and what they mean to you on how you will continue to be in a relationship with them. But this process of detachment will provide a sense of relief and balance.

Susan V. Brewer

Susan V. Brewer is a Certified Life Coach and Psychotherapist in the Upper Bucks County Area.  She graduated in 1987 from Kutztown University with a BS in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She became a Certified Life & Career Coach in June of 2006 and a Certified Relationship Coach in December of 2016. She specializes in adoption, codependency, relationship issues, substance abuse, self-esteem and life transitions. Her belief is “that all persons are truly greater than they think they are.”

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