Who hasn't had the pleasure of dealing with relationship stress? I am, specifically, referring to romantic relationships here. Having your first fight in a relationship is like a rite of passage to the next level. If you survive this initial speed bump, then it's smooth sailing ahead, right?.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy. People are rarely very good at talking openly and honestly about their feelings, which is the reason why relationship stress often sits high on the list of major stressors in people's lives. If you add to this the differences between men and women, it's certainly not smooth sailing ahead.
We fight about everything and if you don't fight directly then perhaps you are very passive aggressive and you seek revenge through manipulation or small annoyances as a way to sooth your hurt feelings and lack of personal fulfillment. It seems, at times, there is no escape from all the head games.
It takes a truly skilled communicator to smoothly navigate the waters of a romantic relationship. After all, as the saying goes, we hurt the ones we love the most. It is a rare occurrence to find two people in a relationship together who are skilled communicators all the time.
We have so much baggage leftover from childhood and past relationships and few of us are very good at taking responsibility for the sheer size of that baggage.
But, not to worry, because dealing with relationship stress is not impossible. With increased knowledge and awareness and a few useful tools and techniques, you, too, can move past the insanity.
Lack of boundaries is a primary reasons why we all have relationship stress. Easy to say, I know, but, the reality is that very few people are very good at creating and enforcing boundaries. Even if you learn how to say "NO" in 10 languages, it really wouldn't make much of a difference.
Because, it's not saying "NO" that's the problem. As I said, that's very easy to say. It's the fear we have of our feelings after we say no. It's guilt. It's the "feeling bad." It's the "not knowing" what the other person will think of you. You name it and we fear it.
Fear of the unknown has caused more relationship stress in this world than politics and religion, if that's possible. So how do you get the fear under control? Simple, you take away its power. And how do you do that? Simple, you break it apart; you ask questions; you learn about it; and you begin to think about it in a different way.
If you are having boyfriend problems or a crisis with your girlfriend or any kind of relationship stress, the first thing you need to do is learn more about the situation. It's just like any business that is confronted with a problem. The first thing that will happen is that the people in charge will have a meeting to discuss the current state of affairs. They do this because you can't run a business, effectively, from your head.
But, in our personal lives, we don't seem to want solutions. We want to talk about it, complain about it and gossip until our ears are burning, but we never seem to think like a business and ask questions that will lead us in the direction of finding solutions. Instead our imaginations get the better of us and and then fear takes hold and then we are finished. The crazy things that we make up in our heads are the stuff of a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel.
When we are getting paid, it seems we are willing to get as much advice as possible and so we are able to be reasonably good problem solvers, but when we're not getting paid, for example, when we are trying to solve relationship stress problems, we don't seem to want any advice, ever. We just want to wallow in self pity. In fact, we are actually resentful if somebody does offer us advice.
I have had more than one occasion in my life, when people have come to me with problems and then have been angry if I have offered solutions. They claim that they just wanted me to listen to them. They would rather go on endlessly about their terrible relationship stress or work related stress. It's like a badge of honor to have the most problems in the world and never achieve any solutions.
Well, I say that's ridiculous. Stress management is a combat sport - it takes a lot of effort. If you are going to bring your problems to somebody else, then you should be willing to listen to advice and potential solutions with the aim of solving the problem.
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