It's Complicated: Advice for Troubled Relationships

We’ve all been in one of those relationships that deserve a Facebook status of “it’s complicated.” Relationships are hard, and managing one requires dedication, loyalty, and some serious attention. Sometimes, the best thing to do in these sorts of relationships is to cut it loose. Getting rid of bad relationships can change your life.

Sometimes, however, this is either not possible or not a choice that we want to make. In times like this, learning to handle a troubled relationship is crucial for your health and happiness. Check out these tips for improving your relationships and getting to a happy and healthy place in your life.

Talk, Talk, Talk

We all know that communication is important. If you want to connect to another person, it is imperative that you communicate with them. In troubled relationships, communication often takes a nose dive. Suddenly, the only communication that happens is about whatever problems lie between you. Instead, learn to communicate in a new way. STOP talking about the problems, and start talking about something else...anything else! Tell each other about hobbies, your likes and dislikes, rehash old shared experiences. Lighten up the communication, and you may find yourselves reconnect naturally.

Put the Other Person First

Some people roll their eyes at this. Put someone else first? Why? I don’t have time to put someone else first! Don’t worry. You don’t have to put them first ALL of the time. It can really change a relationship, however, if you put the other person first just once or twice a day. Make their cup of coffee for them. Buy their favorite food and bring it home. Let them sleep for 5 more minutes while you take care of the morning routine. Small acts of kindness can go a really long way, and can make all the difference in the way you view each other.

Open Your Mind

When we think we’re right, we tend to close off our minds and stop listening. If you really want to change your relationship though, you have to have an open mind. What the other person feels is valid, just like what you feel is valid. Put resentment and defensiveness aside and really listen. Could there be a grain of truth to what they say? Keep an open mind, and you’ll both find better ways to deal with the problems that arise.

Relationships are tough work. Not all of them are worth it, but there are certainly a few in your life that will be worth every struggle and every tear. For those relationships, use these simple tips to make a positive dent. Small changes may make a big difference for your long term health and happiness.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Beth Scupham