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How To Deal With A Difficult Relationship?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Priya Jha 90% (102 ratings)
PG Diploma In Clinical Training, Psychology, MA - Psychology, BA - Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi  •  36 years experience
How To Deal With A Difficult Relationship?

Everyone has to deal with a difficult relationship at some point or the other. Some might have a difficult relationship with their parents while others may have troubled times with their partner. Where the relationship goes from here depends largely on how you deal with it.

Here are a few tips on how to successfully deal with difficult relationships.

  1. Focus on what you can control: There are some things that can be controlled and others that are completely out of your control. How the other person acts and behaves is not in your hands but your responses can be controlled. Hence, focus on these. Identify trigger factors and devise a strategy to deal with them. This will help you stay calm and will not let them affect your mood.
  2. Look at the problem from a third person’s point of view: It is always easier to give advice rather than take it. This is because when we look at a problem with an outsider’s view we can see both sides of the picture. Hence, try and do the same with your own relationships. Try to understand why the other person is acting the way he or she is and what might be triggering your problems. This may help you change your perspective of the issue and show you a different solution to the problem.
  3. Communicate: Open, honest communication is the key to every healthy relationship. No matter how much rough the patch may be, maintain an open line of communication. Talking to the other person can help them understand your point of view and vice versa. This is the only way the situation can improve.
  4. Set Boundaries: It is very important to set boundaries in a difficult relationship. Instead of giving in to everything the other person demands, you need to set clear lines of what is acceptable and what isn’t. For example, if one person is angry, there is no use trying to talk it out in that frame of mind. Instead, give each other cooling off time and set aside a time to talk later. Similarly, if your partner is being disrespectful, you must immediately detach yourself from the situation and let them know that their behaviour is not acceptable.
  5. Say Thank You: When dealing with difficult relationships that you cannot get out of, you can choose to focus on the negatives or the positives. The latter will give you peace of mind and help you stay mentally healthy. Maintaining a gratitude journal is an easy way to do this.
     
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