As a Family Relationship Coach I understand how deep pain, buried hurt and emotional turmoil rips relationships apart like you’re on a relentless rollercoaster of emotion. Family are family whether you love them or hate them; perhaps you can’t live with them, but can you live without them?
One of the biggest issues in relationships that constantly rears it’s ugly head is feeling hurt – the hurt we feel from rejection, from not being accepted for who we are, from not being loved or praised, from feeling lonely and continually let down. We all experience these feelings within families at some time or other, but it’s when the hurt becomes excruciating and continual that we need to make some decisions.
Perhaps this is you right now suffering such pain and hurt – you’ve tried everything but nothing works so you accept life just has to be this way, full of misery? Well, it doesn’t. There is always another perspective and always another way to feel about a situation, it’s just knowing what to do.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself from the emotional hurt and pain relationships can cause –
· It isn’t about YOU
Don’t take the comments or the arguments personally; perhaps you are now feeling so insecure after all the scathing remarks you think the world is against you. But in reality it’s the other person who feels insecure, which is why they often judge, act coldly and lash out to protect themselves. To make a change here don’t blame them, react or give your opinion, simply acknowledge that you accept their opinion and leave it at that. You are not taking on their negativity, you don’t value their opinion anyway and that’s a choice.
· It’s about THEM
When you are being constantly let down, judged, hurt and put down you have a choice. Perhaps you can leave the relationship? Perhaps you can’t; in which case you need to be able to look after yourself so perhaps try to see it this way - the person is acting defensively for himself and it’s only because they have been continually hurt themselves that they are reacting like this, it isn’t about you at all but them. If you don’t take it personally you won’t get hurt.
· Accept the situation
So perhaps you’ve been trying for years to bridge the gap between what you want and what you have; it’s not working so you feel very unhappy? Accepting that you are part of a miserable family even when you don’t understand it and so want the loving family your friend has, will allow you to let of this ‘wanting need’ and lead a happy life. There are many things within families that we will never understand and sometimes we need to just accept the way it is and CHOOSE to live our lives differently.
· You have a choice
If you choose not to have a relationship with your family it is absolutely fine to do this; you do not have to stay if the relationship is too painful. Make the decision because it’s the right thing for you to do, not because someone else tells you what to do. If you do decide to have contact with the family you make the decisions on how you feel and on how YOU maintain the contact.
· You be the change
Just because your family are perhaps a living nightmare you don’t have to be part of this, you can make some changes yourself. Decide what sort of person you want to be and react in a way you want to react, not how family members do. It could also be a time for you to learn and grow from situations. See the situation from a new perspective and refocus your thoughts on what you can learn and what opportunity might be presenting itself.
· If you decide to leave
If you do decide the best thing for you is to leave do not leave the relationship feeling angry and hurt as this will turn into guilt, regret and fear later on. Leave on the grounds that the relationship isn’t working because you value and love yourself more than the relationship is worth. So you don’t leave with negativity in mind to haunt you. This is about protecting you, looking after your needs as you can’t change others but it is your responsibility to look after you.
You deserve love, happiness and joy and if you decide that you can’t enjoy these emotions in your life with the family relationships then it is time to decide to make some changes in your life. There will always be people who will hurt you either intentionally or be totally unaware but it’s up to you to decide how you react to them. Trust me, I’ve been there.
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