Just Maybe, Maybe It’s You…Boo
If you have conflicts with a lot of people (family, coworkers, friends, church members, strangers) maybe it’s you…boo. Unhealthy relationships cause one to feel anger, sadness, and frustration; however, it can cost you financially as well as emotionally. The following are three questions that you may consider before blaming others for the unhealthy relationships in your life:
- Do I have the ability to self-reflect? One of the most important tools for creating, maintaining, and sustaining healthy relationships is the ability to provide insight or self-reflection about yourself (i.e., your attitude, your behavior, and your role in the conflict). Webster dictionary defines self-reflection as careful thought about your own behavior and beliefs.
- Can everybody be wrong all time and could I be right all the time? More importantly, no matter who’s right or wrong, the key to living a healthy life is having healthy relationships. Stop pointing the finger at others and examine yourself. A recommended life coaching tool is to write down the most important people and relationships that you must maintain or would like to maintain in your life. Begin to examine each of those relationships to determine how you can make the necessary changes to ensure that it becomes or continue to be a healthy relationship.
- What can I do or what can I change about myself to make this work? Remember, you are the only person that you can change. Perhaps, you need to forgive, limit the amount of time you spend with this person, refrain from certain conversation topics, or devise a strategy to use when the relationship is becoming unhealthy. Perhaps, this is a relationship that must come to an end. A perfect example is Tyler Perry (filmmaker) and his public explanation about his relationship with his father. His father was very abusive to him as a child and he refuses to admit, apologize, or change his behavior. Most importantly he does not meet Tyler’s standards to try to have a healthy relationship with his father. However, Tyler Perry explains that he is a Christian who believes what the bible says to honor your parents. As a result, he decided to not have a relationship that involves communicating and interacting with his father but a relationship that involves him taking financial responsibility for this father.
In essence, you have to decide that you want healthy relationships and constantly self-reflect on how you can do something to make that happen. After self-reflection, you may be able to say that “it is not me” (in most cases it takes two to make an unhealthy relationship) or “I don’t want to do anything” (because it is not possible to have a healthily relationship with this person, or this relationship is not that important for me to invest the time and energy to make it healthy). Be mindful that not everyone is interested in having healthy relationships.
About the Writer
Dr. Shambra Mulder is an academic scholar/professional life coach with over 15 years of experience advocating for those who are considered “the least of these”. Learn more about Dr. Mulder at www.professionallifecoachllc.com.