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10 Tips for Navigating Difficult Relationships

eft love self-help social stress tapping Feb 20, 2024

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer

Social connections play a crucial role in our lives.  When relationships lack peace and harmony, they can be emotionally draining.  I found a wealth of insights for navigating difficult relationships in a tiny book called It’s All the Same to Me: A Torah Guide to Inner Peace and Love of Life by Moshe Gersht.  Here are some key takeaways from the book, specifically focused on relationships:

  1. Embrace Acceptance: Resisting the situation only exacerbates the problem because it generates negative energy and unnecessary suffering. Acknowledging that this is the current situation with this person makes room for change.
  2. Control Your Focus: While you can’t control what other people do, you can control your own thoughts and actions. Redirect your focus from external circumstances to your internal thoughts and feelings.
  3. Release Ego: Being attached to the outcome of a situation only generates frustration and disappointment. Let go of the need for things to conform to your expectations.
  4. Shift Perspective: Choose to see challenges in relationships as opportunities for growth rather than problems to be solved. Ask what lessons you can learn from this.
  5. Lean into Pain: Rather than avoiding or fighting your feelings, acknowledge your pain and feel it to begin the healing process.
  6. Deflect Negativity: You have the power to choose how you respond to blame, criticism, and insults. Visualize yourself as transparent, allowing this negative energy to pass through you without resistance. Practice non-reactivity.
  7. Foster Open-Mindedness: Create space for others to express themselves while maintaining your own viewpoint with kindness and compassion. Gersht suggests responses like “Is that so? Really? Tell me more. Let me think about that. I could totally see how this bothers you.”
  8. Cultivate Compassion: Respond to criticism with empathy and love. Offer kindness and healing thoughts rather than defensiveness.
  9. Practice Forgiveness: Think about a difficult relationship you have and how you feel when you focus on that person. Shift your attention to all the things you have in common with that person. Offer a silent blessing and then check back to see how you feel.
  10. Reflect on Reminders: Record in a journal the times in your life when something that initially seemed to be trouble ended up being an opportunity for growth. Could this be another one of those times? 

Do what you can to cultivate peace and understanding in your connections with others.  Consider how you can apply some of these insights.  You can also try EFT Tapping for Difficult Relationships on my YouTube channel