Many of us have a legitimate love/hate relationship with some of the people who are closest to us. Family members always know which buttons to push. Why is it so hard to shrug off hurtful actions or passive aggressive comments from those we love?
We learn how loved or lovable we are based on the way those closest to us show love to us. As children, we didn’t question the way love is expressed to us. We learned how our love is valued based on the feedback we received when we expressed our love to others.
The mirror may not be right, but it doesn’t lie.
As adults, we may argue back when criticized by an over-bearing sibling, but unconsciously, if we’ve been hearing those things since childhood, we believe what they say about us is true.
It’s a bit like the extremely thin person with an eating disorder who sees someone heavy when they look in the mirror. What they believe literally overrides what they see.
You can change what the reflections shows you.
You can acknowledge that you are not the person in the mirror that the hurtful family member shows you. You can use your own power of self-reflection to honestly assess the validity of their comments and actions to you and about you.
As a child, you might not have had an option to stand up for yourself. As an adult, that option is absolutely available. Your love for your family is yours to share in a way that aligns with the love you have for yourself.
It’s okay to love from a distance.
I’ve previously shared about my own family relationship issue. In a perfect world, the people who know us best, would love us most. They would also be kind, understanding and forgiving. If you have a relationship that’s hurtful, despite how much you love this person it is okay to love them without interacting with them.
Sometimes, full acknowledgement and acceptance has to be realized particularly if you are use to providing and protecting that younger sibling as your parents taught you when growing up. It’s hard to let go of a person you love move in a direction that is or can be detrimental to their well being. Especially when they have so much potential to use their special gifts and talents in a productive way. That’s when learning a new behavior is critical to your own well being free from stress and worry.
When you keep repeating the same mental dialogue and behaviors, you’ll struggle to change the relationship dynamic. Take an honest assessment of your interactions and separate the love you feel for that person from the treatment you are willing to accept.
Healthy relationships are worth the work, but both people need to be willing to do 100% of their 50%. It’s okay to take a break from people who cause you pain or make you feel like the ten-year-old you. Allow the image you see reflected back to you to come from those who love you without reservation or agenda.
Join me to learn the art of “Intentional Communication to Build Better Relationships” Webinar.
It will be held on Thursday, January 24th @ 6:30 pm for 90 minutes with worksheets.
Get in on the $99 Early bird by registering now. Monday, January 21st the Investment for the webinar will return to the original price of $199.