Many of the people I coach are very successful in their professional lives, but they’re still drained and feeling like they’re operating on auto-pilot. When together we look at what drains them, they realize that work actually energizes them. It’s their relationships which keep them frustrated.
For years I’ve being following Dr. Harriet Lerner’s wisdom, advice, and tips on creating and improving healthy relationships. This week I had the honor of interviewing Harriet.
When dealing with relationships, especially with difficult relationships, self-care is a must.
It takes a lot of self-soothing and self-calming techniques to be at your best, where you are operating from a place of power and confidence, ?to create healthy interactions.
When you make self-care high on your priority list and you stop feeling guilty every time you do something for yourself, you feel more in control and in your power. ?You can then show up more confident and positive in your relationships.
As Harriet says: ?It’s just when your partner is being the biggest jerk that you’re called upon to be your best self.?
If you look at my notes from Harriet’s interview and look for my ?Wow Moment? notes which I highlighted in orange, you will see what I mean.
Here is a list of my favorite quotes and Wow Moments from Harriet’s book: ?Marriage Rules?, which can help you deal with difficult people. Although some of the practices are intended for married couples, they can easily be applied to your relationships with your mother, your sister, or your friends.
10 ways to deal with difficult people?
- ?Say it shorter. Making your point in three sentences or fewer gives your partner the space to consider it.? (page 33 )
- ?Make wise and thoughtful decisions about HOW and WHEN to say WHAT to your partner.? (page 7)
- ?A simple gesture ? a hand on a back, a nod, a smile ? can make a person feel seen and cared for.? (page 5)
- ?No one can survive a marriage (at least not happily) if they feel more judged than admired.? (page 24)
- ?Keep in mind that it is the pattern, not the person, that’s the problem in the relationship. Understanding the pattern and your part in it is the first step toward breaking out of it.? (page 75)
- ?When you want more connection, suggest an activity. Instead of communicating about communication ? talking about how you don’t talk ? just try talking.? (page 80)
- ?Know your bottom line! Accommodating your partner isn’t a good idea if doing so violates your deeply held values, priorities and beliefs.? (page 181)
- ?Set aside at least a few weeks to stop focusing on your partner. Put 100% of your energy into your own life.? (page 88)
- ?Face-to-face conversation requires courage, an e-mail requires none. But it’s worth it to take the high road and SAY what you want to say ? or let it go.? (page 257)
- ?If you want a recipe for relationship failure, just wait for the other person to change first.? (page 21)
Harriet Lerner offers great advice.? When you are your best self, operating from a place of personal power and confidence, both persons in a relationship benefit.? Practicing these 10 steps will empower your personal relationships, even the most difficult ones!