6 Truly Effective Phrases For Handling Uncertainty In A Relationship

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When relationships hit a rough patch, it's natural to struggle with what to do next, or even how to feel.

When things feel uncertain, we tend to look outside, to our partner and others, for validation and clarity. But in truth, that's the time we need most to turn inward and find answers in ourselves.

Relationship coach Rebecca Ore shared some wisdom in an Instagram post that will hit home if you've experienced that situation. She shared six simple and effective phrases you can say to yourself to handle uncertainty in any relationship.

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6 Effective Phrases For Handling Uncertainty In Relationships

1. "The only thing I can control is how I choose to think, feel, and show up."

Ore says the first phrase to help you with your uncertainty in relationships is, "The only thing I can control is how I think, feel, and show up."

To go along with this, licensed psychotherapist Caitlin Cantor writes, "Relationships are uncertain. You don’t know what will happen in a month, a year, or a decade. You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. But we can control the now and how we think and show up in our relationship."

If you are struggling with uncertainty, surrender yourself to the unknown.

"Surrender to the fact that you don't know and there's nothing you can do to figure out what will happen," says Cantor.

Next, remember to breathe! Take a deep calming breath and tell yourself that it's okay to not know everything. Count to three or practice meditation exercises. And don't be afraid to distract yourself. Go read a book or hang out with a friend!

2. "I'm open to believing that whatever happens, I can handle it."

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Whatever happens, happens?" According to Ore, being open to believing that whatever happens, you can handle it, is key to resolving uncertainty in relationships.

But I get it, adapting this mindset isn't easy, and where do we even begin? Exercising more acceptance of unknowns instead of resistance is a good start.

According toTchiki Davis, PhD, "Psychologists have found that trying to resist or avoid certain difficult experiences can cause further psychological harm."

Some ways in which Davis says we can become more accepting include:

  • Pointing out your resistance
  • Questioning why your resistance exists in the first place
  • Being mindful of your patterns
  • Thinking of and accepting your inner child
  • Trying to practice a more accepting mindset

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3. "It's possible that if [insert something scary] happens, I can choose to be kind and compassionate to myself."

We probably know that kicking ourselves while we're down isn't the best confidence booster. But it's hard to stop when you've made it a pattern all your life.

Rakshitha Arni Ravishankar and Kelsey Alpaio state, "Research suggests that one of the most effective ways to alleviate stress, worry, and general anxieties about our life is to practice more deliberate kindness and self-compassion."



4. "It's possible that if [insert something scary] happens, I don't need to make it mean anything about my worth and value."

Often our self-worth is based on opinions and situations outside of ourselves. But as licensed social worker Akirah Robinson writes, "I learned the hard way that when we connect our worth with anything outside of ourselves, we’re setting ourselves up for failure."

This is why it's important to know that when everything fails, our values and self-worth remain the same — regardless of what others may say.

If this is something you struggle with, ask yourself why seeking validation is important to you, notes Robinson. Put yourself first! Love yourself and remind yourself that you are worthy enough.

"In other words, treat yourself like you know you’re worth it and one day, you just might believe it," Robinson says.

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5. "I've handled emotional pain before and gotten through it, maybe I could handle it again."

Most of us have dealt with emotional pain in the past. And in relationships, we are bound to shed a few tears from time to time.

Of course, there are limits to the emotional pain we feel like we can handle, but we often sell ourselves short and quickly forget how we managed to stay resilient in the face of pain in the past.

Think of all the very worst experiences you've been through, acknowledge the pain they caused, but focus on how you persevered. Despite all of that, you're here today, aren't you? You've been through hard things before, and you can get through them again.

6. "Every day I'm learning that I'm more capable than my brain gives me credit for."

Feeling confident in how capable we are is essential for everyday functioning, but a lot of us second-guess ourselves or don't see the big picture of how much we are already handling quite well.

We can get distracted by negative thought patterns driven by shame and fear that tell us we're not enough, we're not good enough, and we're not doing enough. But, we're missing the fact that we are already doing so many very hard things all on our own, and we're not failing because we are capable.

The point is that we need to give ourselves more credit for all the things we're working through and learning from already.

One small thing you can do if you struggle with confidence in your ability to see through something uncertain is start writing down daily affirmations and personal mantras, like those listed here, on a sticky note and post it on your wall or mirror. Repeat these daily and remind yourself you are worthy and more capable than you know.

Eventually, your thoughts can begin to shift your reality. Slowly but surely you'll realize you don't need certainty to feel safe and secure with yourself.

As the wise Indigo Girls once said, "The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine."

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.