Four Ways to Handle Difficult Relationships

Posted By: on February 20, 2019
man and woman talking

How counseling helps you communicate better and what to do if the troubled relationship is with your spouse.

If you have difficulty relating to some of the people in your life, you’re not alone. A difference in opinion is sometimes all that it takes to make communicating feel impossible. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t find solutions when it comes to spending time with and even talking to the difficult people in your life. In fact, there are many ways to address trying relationships, but we’ve decided to focus on four solutions.

Option #1: Giving up defensiveness

Even if you disagree with someone, it’s best not to put up your defenses. It’ll often make difficult people even angrier and more upset. Instead, seek to understand why they feel the way that they do. Ask them for more information instead of giving them a generalized statement like “I understand.” As best as possible, be curious instead of frustrated.

Option #2: Find healthy ways to decompress after being exposed to stress

Some people rattle you to your core. Without a break, communicating with them gets you nowhere. Take time away from the situation to recharge your batteries. Make it a point to do something that relaxes you. When your adrenaline system has been exposed to constant streams of cortisol, it eventually tires out and causes you to feel rundown and fatigued. Refresh and reenter the relationship from a place of being recharged. An easy way to remember this is: Recharge – Refresh – Reenter.

Option #3: Keep in mind that one approach doesn’t work for all situations

Humans are complex beings with a myriad of needs. If therapy teaches you anything, it’s that one tool or technique does not work 100% of the time. Having a variety of resources to work with is among the many ways you can continue to have a relationship with someone experiencing a wide range of emotions. Counseling provides a safe space for you to explore different ways to respond to what’s troubling you with others, and for you to be part of the relational healing process.

Option #4: If the difficult relationship is with your partner, consider couples counseling

Couples therapy benefits both parties by identifying differences in communication styles, how to come to conclusions together without blaming or harboring resentment, and how to utilize a variety of tools and techniques designed to strengthen bonds, rise above challenges, and assign accountability for one’s thoughts, words, and actions.

You are bound to run across people with whom you have a difficult time relating to. It’s a normal part of life to experience differences in opinions and conversation styles. That doesn’t mean that you can’t handle the difficult relationships in your life with greater ease, though. Continue exploring ways to communicate and deal with people who try your patience and you’ll be better equipped to relate to them in a confident and effective way.

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