Sunday, September 18, 2011

Relationship Stress

There can be nothing worse than Relationship Stress
If you are in any relationship, you can be sure that you suffer from some kind of relationship stress. A relationship is defined by your connection to someone or something. You can have a relationship with another person, like your spouse or your boss, or you can have a relationship with an inanimate object, like your car or the TV remote. Any time you are interacting with someone or something, you are having a relationship. This is where the difficulties arise, because you see the world from your own unique perspective, which is, by definition, different to the way others see it.
How to deal with relationship stress
We all struggle to come to terms with the world and the millions of other people in it. Whenever you expect the other person to operate as you do, there will be some sort of relationship stress. The best way to approach this problem is to try to see things from a different perspective. In other words, look at things through the eyes of the other person. If your boss is snappy and bad-tempered, try to understand the pressure he may be under and don't always assume you know what is going on his mind. The trick is to take the emotion out of the situation, take a deep breath, and be calm and objective. If you have made a mistake, admit it, apologize and try to rectify the problem. It is amazing how the two little words, I'm sorry, can defuse and mollify anger. Being defensive and unyielding only tends to aggravate relationship stress.
Work on your self-esteem
When you are feeling tired and insecure it is easy to misinterpret things and then relationships become a minefield of hurt feelings and misunderstandings. When you are feeling confident, however, it is much easier to take things in your stride. It makes sense then, to avoid relationship stress, to work on your relationship with yourself first. Watch how you speak to yourself and try to be kind. If you genuinely love and accept yourself, you will automatically be more loving and forgiving of others. It would be wise to accept that no one is perfect and that includes you. So cut yourself a little slack every now and then and don't expect perfection. People who are very demanding are generally just as hard on themselves as they are on the people around them. You can be sure that a critical man criticizes himself just as much as he criticizes anybody else and often people like this see attack as the best form of defense. We are all wounded in some way emotionally and often give out the wrong signals to protect our vulnerability.
People who are hurt, hurt other people
If you can remember this, the next time someone is hurtful towards you, you can turn the situation around and reduce the relationship stress that could arise. Instead of lashing out and hurting back, you can be compassionate. Instead of taking it as a personal affront, you can see it as a cry for help from a wounded soul.
Looking after yourself
Stress in any form, be it relationship stress or work stress or financial stress, is so much harder to cope with when you are neglectful of yourself. Sleep deprivation, being unfit and eating junk food will all add unnecessarily to any burden. We all know that lack of sleep makes us crabby and hard to get along with. It also makes us more susceptible to disease. If you find yourself waging war with everyone around you, take a step back and ask yourself what you may be doing to contribute to the state of affairs. Exercise is a wonderful way to relieve tension and relationship stress, even if it is as simple as taking a walk. The world looks like a different place when you can step back. You may want to consider meditation too. It doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. Just taking the time to still your mind and be quiet is all that it really required. It comes back to that all important relationship that you have with yourself. You cannot change anybody else, no matter how hard you try, you can only change yourself.
Communication
In any relationship a lack of communication can get you into trouble, but no more so than between men and women. Husbands and wives often fight, not because they are bad people, but simply because they don't understand each other. They interpret events in completely different ways. You cannot assume that because you think a certain way, everyone else thinks the same way too. Tolerance for another point of view, as well as tolerance for the priorities of others, is an important factor in any relationship stress. However, if you don't communicate about this, you won't get very far. Listening is a vital skill to develop if you want to alleviate relationship stress. We are all so busy sometimes trying to get our own point across that we forget to listen to what the other person is trying to say. Everybody needs to be heard. Everybody needs to be validated and to have their feelings respected. If you can do those things for someone else they will be in a better position to do them for you. So always remember the following points:
  • Respect for each other
  • Listen to each other
  • Talk a lot and about everything
  • Show your affection
  • Explain yourself when unclear
Wrapping it up
No relationship is going to be plain sailing, no matter how good it is. You can expect at least a few hitches along the way. The most important thing to remember though is that the most important person in any relationship is you, and the most important relationship you can ever have is with yourself. If you do not love yourself, how can you expect anybody else to? You have the power to change only one person, and that is you. You have all the tools within you to do that and if you can be a better friend to yourself, you can make relationship stress a thing of the past.
Author - Dave Massey of Symptoms of Stress.com which lots more ideas on Relationship Stress.

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