How to Fix Your Relationship

Have you ever said to yourself, “If they would just be/do more this/that, our relationship would be so much better”? We all have wanted our parents, sister/brother, coworkers, kids, or significant other to do or be something different so that we can feel a certain way.

We have basically created a manual for how we expect the people in our lives to behave. Here are a few manuals that I had to work through:

My daughter should:

  • Be more excited about learning
  • Be bothered by any grade less than an A
  • Love to read
  • Not be obsessed with electronics

My friend should:

  • Reach out to me sometimes
  • Remember my birthday

My husband should:

  • Offer to help more
  • Know when I’m bothered
  • Be more understanding

What’s funny to me about these manuals is that these people had no idea that I had these manuals for them. I had never said it in my out loud voice to them. It was just a list of things that I expected them to know that I needed them to do. See how ridiculous that sounds? If they lived up to the list, everything would be cool. However, when they didn’t, I would feel some kind of way.

I had to learn to drop the manuals that I had for people. That meant allowing people to be who they are, not who I want them to be. And take responsibility for my own feelings and not make them responsible for how I feel.

Here is what’s true: The only thing that can make us FEEL anything are our thoughts. Remember from a previous post, our thoughts create our feelings. Taking responsibility for my own feelings meant that I had to remind myself that whatever I was feeling is because of a thought I was having about someone’s behavior, not because of the behavior itself.

Changing the thought that “my daughter should love to read” to “she’s allowed to love whatever she’s interested in” made me feel more supportive and understanding instead of annoyed and frustrated.

Try dropping your manuals for the people in your life. Instead, acknowledge that you want to experience a particular feeling and realize that you have the ability to feel it without someone behaving a certain way, but by changing your thoughts about how they behave.

If you have a challenging relationship that you would like help working through, sign up for a free mini-session here and let’s work together.

Gabrielle, The Thought Trainer


6 responses to “How to Fix Your Relationship”

  1. Consuela Carter Avatar
    Consuela Carter

    You are absolutely amazing. I’m beyond blessed to have you apart of my life and to actually call you a “Good Friend”. I love this read. ❤

    1. Avatar

      Aww, love you, friend!! Thanks for the support always. ❤️

  2. Alisha Avatar

    I am going to work on removing “should” because lord knows I have a list of them for folks.

    1. Avatar

      Right! I do too! Still have to check myself.

  3. Tasha Avatar

    Great tips!!! And yes…”owning your feelings”
    is a biggie….not an easy thing for many?.

    1. Avatar

      Thank you! And you’re right, not easy but very necessary for healthy relationships.

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