This is How to Deal with the Hard Stuff: Relationship Edition. I’m a very communicative person, so I tend to gravitate towards people who are as well. There are exceptions in my social circle, and that can lead to some complications. When complications arise, the best thing to do is let both parties air their grievances, make sure both parties apologize regardless of their feelings towards the complaints, and move on.
It’s difficult to both share why you’re frustrated and listen to why others are frustrated with you. It’s not fun to admit that things have fallen on hard times with someone you really care about, but relationships can’t always be fun. People are different, they face different challenges and experiences that can cause shifts in their relationships. Genuine care is shown when you’re willing to have an honest conversation because it means that you really want to salvage the relationship.
Thus begs the question, do you want to salvage the relationship? Some relationships can be toxic, and those are best left in the past. The specific relationship that I’m having trouble with is not toxic, so my struggle with this question is a little more difficult. I think most relationships are worth salvaging. Any connection that hasn’t been a blight on your life is worth keeping, especially if they’ve been around for a while. As I said earlier, relationships are difficult, but they’re an integral part of the human experience. One bump in the road should not be enough to make you cut someone out of your life.
Don’t become defensive during this conversation. Regardless of whether or not you think your counterparts frustrations are relevant or legitimate, it still frustrated them, and you should acknowledge that. Apologizing is a hard part of this process, but if done correctly each party will feel as though their concerns have been addressed appropriately. This also means that both parties should feel slightly uncomfortable and upset, but that’s natural and healthy. If relationships were always comfortable, no one would be lonely or single.
After everything is laid out for all to bear witness to, then it is time to move on. If you’re in a relationship with someone who wants to hold grudges or use past problems against you, that is a sign of something more toxic. If you reach out to someone in an effort of reconciliation and they refuse to respond, that is most likely a toxic person. You should take pride and comfort in knowing that you did the mature, responsible thing by trying to fix the problem. If they refuse to participate in the solution, it will be a much easier fix.
Relationships are not easy, but they are simple. Communicate, support, encourage, and love those that mean a lot to you. Everything is straightforward in theory and more difficult in application. Trust the process, trust your instincts, and try to cultivate a healthy relationship in the process.