Relationships: Tips to Help Overcome your Negative Reaction to yo

By

Relationships: Tips to Help Overcome your Negative Reaction to yo
Teaser: Dr. Romance writes to help couples deal with each other in a positive manner.

EXERCISE: MIRRORS AND TEACHERS

1. List problem people:
Make a list of people with whom you have had problems in the recent past. You can use the list from the exercise for reviewing your family map in the last chapter, choose the family members who are still presenting problems, and add to it other people who are difficult, but aren’t related.

2. Choose a mirror:
Select one of the most difficult people on the list, and think about your interaction with that person. What do you want from him or her? Do you want to be understood? To be respected? To be left alone? To be appreciated? To be cared about?

3. Relate it to yourself: 
Now consider how to give to yourself what you want from the other person. If you want to be left alone, do you leave yourself alone? If you want to be trusted, do you trust yourself? If you want to be heard, do you listen to your own self? If you want to be important, are you important to you?

4. Change your self-treatment:
Practice treating yourself the way you would want to be treated by the person in question. For example, if you are angry because this person doesn’t treat you with respect, consider what it would mean to treat yourself with respect, and change your behavior toward yourself accordingly. If you’re upset because the person doesn’t listen to you, spend some time every day listening to yourself.   

5. Learn new skills: 
Think about the dynamics between the difficult person and yourself, and what you need to learn that would improve the relationship. Perhaps you need to learn not to take what is said too seriously.  Perhaps you need to learn to set boundaries, or to handle other peoples’ anger more effectively. Make a list of new skills you could learn that would improve your ability to deal better with this type of individual. On youf list, note where you think you could learn the skills you need. From a friend? With a therapist? From books? Some of the exercises in the rest of this book may give you what you need.  

6. Do your part:
Take responsibility for your part of the relationship. Keeping in mind that no one can struggle with you if you don’t struggle back, consider what you need to do to remove yourself from the relationship problem. Remember, no matter what’s going on, you have control over your own actions – you can choose not to participate in any situation that is destructive or counter-productive.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina

Author

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
562-438-8077
Dr. Romance Blog: http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
http://www.twitter.com/tinatessina
http://www.facebook.com/#!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/rar7RC
 

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Tina Tessina:

Mirrors and Teachers

By

There are people I love who are easy to be around, and others I love who are more difficult for me. It’s not that they’re bad people, others get along with them fine, and, actually, so do I. It’s just that I have to work a little bit more to understand what they mean, to not take what they say the wrong way, or use a little more patience ... Read more

Dear Dr. Romance: I Would Like To Get Out Of This Anxiety

By

Dear Dr. Romance: I'm a 70-year-old man who has been married more than 40 years.  I read your article "Autonomy and Dependency" I feel like I've been in a codependency relationship the last fifteen years and have developed anxiety & depression. My wife is a strong person and I'm a 'pleaser.' I've been on ... Read more

Live Outside The Box

By

I was speaking with a client today about how he is burn-out in his career. This is a man who's been very successful, earned a lot of money, and worked hard for a big, national corporation. I told him he was burned-out, and on strike, because he had put himself in a box about work. The box consisted of four walls: Wall #1: I have to make $$$$ amount ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.