We have read many suggestions on setting ourselves up for success in the new year. Everything from writing down goals, cleaning out clutter, booking appointments and changing our surroundings. All these suggestions are good, but we can go one better.
The year ahead will only be as good as the quality of our relationships. The challenging work of rebuilding relationship fractures and setting healthy boundaries now puts us in a fantastic possession to start the new year.
Mending relationships is complicated, and creating new boundaries often proves to be tricky. It is work that can make us feel awkward, exhausted and hurt. However, the alternative is carrying around unresolved pain and resentment, and with all we have been through in the last few years, who really has any time, energy or want for that.
And so, here are our top 5 tips for mending relationship fractures before the new year hits.
It's essential to take time to think about what you want, how you feel and how you can own your faults. Knowing these things can help you be clear, specific and honest. It can protect you from the pain of self-betrayal and make confrontation productive.
We suggest engaging in expressive writing. Take out a piece of paper and a pen. On the page, write down why you think the relationship isn't working. Write down how you think the relationship could work and how you could bring more love into the relationship.
It is best not to approach the person without giving them a warning of the kind of conversion you wish to have. When preparing to meet, consider the time and place. A neutral location is best at a time when both parties have emotional and cognitive space.
How you turn up is also crucial. Go with the intent to listen. Be well-rested, well-fed and ready to give the conversion full focus. Decide before you engage in the conversion to protect your heart by affirming your worth.
Relationships can be complicated. Layers of miscommunication can make reconciliation seem impossible. It's important to get to the core of the issue quickly. Avoid using generalisations and instead, use specific examples. Check that they understand by asking questions. Ask for what you need and remember being respectful is not the same as being polite. Polite people often ask how they really feel.
It is healthy to point out when a conversion isn't working. If the person you are conversing with becomes hostile, abusive or unpleasantly rude, you can respectfully withdraw. You can say, 'I feel like we are not getting anywhere, and I would like to talk again about our relationship at another time.' Don't raise your voice, stomp away or slam doors. Remove yourself without exacerbating the situation. Bringing in a third party such as a therapist or counsellor may be needed.
The goal of the conversation is to take a step towards a healthier relationship, not to heal you completely. Those who hurt us are not responsible for our healing; that work is ours alone. Healing happens with time and intent. We can engage in different methods to assist our healing, such as starting meditation for a calmer mind, journaling, exercise, therapy and more. Evaluating how you feel the conversion went will give you clues about what you need to be healed of and the new boundaries you need to make.