This article is a guest post from Candice Wu, LCPC. She is an intuitive coach and holistic healing facilitator who helps people through the power of love, self-forgiveness, empowerment and body wisdom.
Have you ever felt like you wanted to just reset or reboot the relationship?
The Outdated Default Relationship Dynamic
Recently, I noticed that there was a friend that I would frequently feel frustrated with because I became a therapist to them. I found myself feeling exhausted after a conversation and complaining about this person to others. But I wasn’t doing anything to change it.
It was almost as if I was numb to it and just getting through it. A default mode. Definitely reminiscent of past ways of survival in my childhood experience. Maybe this was the type of relationship that I had wanted for a time, but now it was getting to be a drag.
From time to time, if not regularly, I like to check in on how I am experiencing my relationships.
These were signs to me that I had a desire for something different. Rather than avoiding this person, or cutting them out of my life, I wanted to find a new way. I wanted to create something different rather than live what has been there, and what was outdated.
Signs of A Desire For Change
Have you experienced wanting something different in your relationships?
Rather than complaining about someone that you truly would like to stay connect to and leaving it at that, or attributing a problematic relationship to that person’s personality (although in some cases it may be), noticing the signs that you might want something different can give you the freedom to know you can collaborate to create something new.
Whether it is with friends, in romantic relationships, or business here are some of the cues that your soul may be wanting a shift:
- When your relationship is in a rut or becomes calcified in a negative dynamic
- You feel contempt or superiority
- You feel defensive
- You feel bored or stagnant
- Feeling tense or anxious around your relationship
- You avoid this person or you find ways to get out of connecting
- If you’re complaining about this person
- When you find yourself drained or frustrated consistently
- You want something that you just can’t get
- There are unspoken things between you
It Always Begins With You
Take ultimate responsibility for the way you may be acting, what you may be assuming about the other person, what your past experiences may have brought to the dynamic, and perhaps where your fears are that keep you doing what you do in it. Take time to explore, notice, and digest how you experience yourself in the relationship. I encourage you to journal or explore with a loved one or therapist/healer/coach about the following questions.
Exploration for Yourself: Who Have You Been?
- Who have you been in this relationship?
- Looking at the challenges, problems or complaints, what is your part in it?
- How do you react or get activated?
- How do you want to respond instead?
- If you slow down and notice, what happens inside (in the body)?
- What are the other possibilities of how to react?
- What would happen if you did something different, something empowering?
Getting Clear on Who You Want to Be
- Who would you like to be in this?
- Who would you like the other person to be in your relationship?
- How will you feel in this relationship when it is better or different?
- What kind of energy or dynamic would you like to create or offer?
Collaborating to Create New Territory
Are you ready to set out and put your new awareness and desires into motion?
First, recognize whether this is a safe relationship to explore a new dynamic. You may consider getting outside support if you are unsure. This article is not tailored or specific to crisis or abusive situations, though some things may be helpful.
You might consider trying some of the things you found in your exploration above, or being honest and talking with the person(s) in the relationship and sharing that you’d like to create something new. Check yourself to see if you’re coming from a place of love, groundedness, and the energy of loving between the two (or more) of you. If you’re in a place of emotional reaction, you may take more time with it before you present a new idea, depending on the capacity of yourself, the other person(s) and the relationship.
Starter Lines – From a Place of Love:
Find a time where you and the other person are in a relaxed, neutral, or grounded place.
Test out these starting lines to open a new, creative conversation and shake up the energy in your relationship.
- I am wondering if we could try something new in our relationship!
- I would like to explore how we respond to each other around _____.
- Can we try something different? How do you want to feel in our relationship? What do you want this relationship to be like?
- I am working on something new for myself and want to let you know that I may be responding differently in different situations (feel free to be specific if you desire). I might try_______. How does that feel for you?
- I feel I need a reset in our relationship. I have been feeling _______.
- I would like to experience more ______ in our relationship! I have some ideas – can we talk about this together?
- I have been afraid of _____ (doing or saying…), I’d like to talk about this with you.
- Can we do something different today?
Love and Love and Love
Be kind and gentle with yourself and the other person! It’s important to keep loving and forgiving yourself for fumbles and for the ways you’ve contributed to a relationship dynamic, as well as find a loving heart towards the others involved. Keep in mind that deeply entrenched ways of acting may take time, willingness, and gentleness to shift.
Know that all is flexible and changeable and that everything is a possibility. The experience you have, and your relationship has, is ONE possibility and it’s in your power to change it up. Go for it!