I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching recently. I’m not sure whether it’s been the gravity of the last few years making me realize that I need to work on myself or I’m just becoming more self aware in general. But regardless, something I’ve been thinking a lot about this year is how to manage difficult relationships that don’t align with you anymore.
Now, I’m not talking about those super toxic relationships here. I know that when we talk about toxic relationships, we’re often met with the advice, “remove them from your life!” which although sensible, isn’t always the most realistic of options for many people, depending on the relationship in question.
So at no point in this post will I tell you to just “remove” someone from your life. That advice didn’t serve me and I know that’ll be the case for many others too. Instead, I want to talk about how to MANAGE difficult relationships that don’t align with you, your values and your beliefs.
Perhaps this is a relationship that used to align which just doesn’t anymore. Perhaps your own personal beliefs or values have changed over time. Or maybe theirs have. Whatever the reason, sometimes you find that the people you’re in relationships with (romantic and non-romantic) sometimes just don’t “fit” with you and your soul anymore.
So that said, let’s look at how to manage difficult relationships that don’t align with you anymore:
Understand why the relationship doesn’t align with you anymore
The first thing you should do to understand how to manage difficult relationships that don’t align with you anymore is to figure out WHY the relationship doesn’t align. Perhaps you’ve noticed a slight shift in the dynamic between you and you can’t quite put your finger on why? Well here’s where the digging begins.
I’d recommend journaling it out. Listen to your inner voice and get really open and honest with yourself and whatever comes up – allow it. Nobody but you is going to see this journal entry so be brutal. Delve into your relationship with this person, what changed and when and what it is you’re not happy with anymore and see what you uncover.
Establish your own hobbies and interests separate to that person
If the person you’re struggling to align with is someone particularly close to you or perhaps someone that lives in the same house, then it can be REALLY hard to distance yourself from them. Mentally and physically. This is where you need to establish YOURSELF and your own hobbies and interests away from that person.
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Perhaps you’re SO USED to spending a lot of time with them or maybe you have a lot of similar hobbies. Now is a great time to expand and step outside of your comfort zone. Try a new course, start a new hobby or join a new club. You don’t have to explain yourself or tell them why you’re doing it. But find your own thingggg.
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Don’t get bitter about the relationship changing
When relationships break down or change in any way, it can be really difficult to deal with. So before we get to the point about forgiving and letting go, you first need to get your emotions in check and remember that it’s OKAY for relationships to change over time. People are allowed to change and you know what?
Sometimes, you’re not going to like it. Some people change for the good. Others not so much. But everyone – yes, EVERYONE – is in their right to change how they see fit. That can certainly be a tough pill to swallow sometimes but the quicker you do, the better.
How to manage relationships continued:
Distance yourself from their views and beliefs
Perhaps you and this person have always been on the same page about things. Always agreed on everything. Always had the same beliefs and values about important things in life. Until one day, you don’t. If you’ve found this person has changed their views and they don’t align with you anymore, then it’s time to distance yourself from those views.
Because remember, a person is not their views. However, it’s entirely up to you how far you want to distance yourself from them. Opinions can clash – quite dramatically. So a good way to avoid complete chaos and learn how to manage difficult relationships with vastly different views to too distance yourself from them if that’s going to benefit your growth.
Spend time with them on your own terms
You can certainly have a relationship with someone who you don’t necessarily align with anymore yet still want to spend time with. But the key is to spend time with them on your own terms. Sometimes, people can be too much. And to avoid damaging your relationship, you can limit your time with them and definitely spend time with them on your own terms.
Maybe you’ve found you always end up doing what THEY want to do and you’re not happy about that anymore? Or you’re the one always messaging them to spend time together? This is where you need to seriously think about HOW you want to spend time with them and do it your way.
Forgive and let go to manage relationships
And finally, the most important point of all. Once you’ve established WHY the relationship doesn’t align with you anymore and realized that they have a right to change, then it’s time to forgive and let go. Remember the good times in your relationship, remind yourself of that persons good qualities and be grateful. Then let go.
Whether you continue to see that person or not, forgiveness is key. Bitterness and resentment won’t get you nowhere, so by forgiving and letting go, will only enhance your own personal growth going forward. With or without that person.
Related read: How To Practice Ho’oponopono in Four Simple Steps
I hope this post on how to mange relationships was helpful for you if you’re struggling with something similar. Have you been through this?
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