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Repairing Difficult Relationships

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:05am | by Helen Hoart

Many of us have someone in our life where the relationship is strained, difficult and emotionally distant. Often that person is a family member or an in-law. It’s someone that remains in our orbit but we don’t look forward to spending time with them. 

I heard a friend of mine describe her reaction to a very difficult sister-in-law as: “I don’t like the way I am when I’m around her. She says things that make me angry, but it’s impossible to have a conversation about our difficulties without her starting a big, loud, out-of-control argument. So I just bottle up my feelings for the sake of family harmony.”

If you have a thorny relationship, ask yourself: Is it worth trying to repair the relationship? The answer could be yes, especially if it’s someone you were once close to.    

The first step to making things better may be to visualize how it would be if you were friends:

·         Would the two of you sit quietly and think about how you can be together without rancor or animosity. 

·         Would you take a walk and talk quietly? 

·         Or would you listen to music and become closer as you shared the beauty? 

·         Did the two of you have a favorite activity? Maybe you can visualize doing that again. 

·         Or could you could remember the good times you had?

You don’t have to come up with a plan to fix the relationship, just be open to the possibility. Then see where that leads you.

Do you have someone in your life that you’d like to have a better relationship? What steps can you take to improve it?


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