I teach people that no matter what the situation is, no matter how chaotic, no matter how much drama is around you, you can heal by your presence if you just stay within your center.
Relationship chaos is everywhere. Family, friends, and coworkers disrupt our peace and interrupt our thoughts. If we are not careful, these disruptions take our minds out of focus on our goals.
Many of us want a better relationship with those that we care about. But too often it is difficult to figure out how to navigate from chaos to LOVE.
I have walked that path myself. And although I am still a work in progress, I can tell you that are definitely some strategies that can HELP you go from chaos to LOVE (or get you pretty close).
Before we get into what to do and what not to do, first you need to make a list of the people that you really CARE about. Let's face it, there are many people in our life that are TEMPORARY. They are just moving through for a season. But there are some FOREVER people that we want in our lives now and forevermore. These are the people that you want to focus on with these strategies. Let the rest go!
Deepak Chopra lets us know that the key to reducing the chaos in your relationships lies in learning how to "stay within your center." This sounds profound and simple. So what does it mean and how do you do it?
Let me share some strategies that can help you:
Avoid becoming bitter. Bitterness is the anger and disappointment that you feel when people don't behave as you expect. If we don't let go of this anger it will eventually sabotage and undermine what we want to see in the relationship. Bitterness is like a cancer that will eat away at our emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. It can come out in critical remarks or verbal attacks on the other person. Or it may just be a feeling of general discontent with the person. Avoiding bitterness is necessary if you want to reduce the chaos in your relationships.
Say Thank You. Appreciation can immediately reduce the tension in a relationship. When we become angry or frustrated with people, we fail to remember the good in the relationship. It may not be all good, but it is NOT all bad either! Try to find a way to appreciate the person in a sincere way. Are they generally helpful? Are there small things they do for you that are overlooked? Appreciate the other person for small acts of kindness or effort by saying "Thank you." You may be surprised by how this immediately reduces the tension in the relationship.
Be Patient. In my blog post on patience, I explain both the power and practice of patience. Being patient with others is necessary if you want to avoid disruption and chaos. Patience will prevent you from "flying off the handle" and saying things that will cause more chaos. When you are practicing patience, you are more intentional about what you do and what you say. Weighing your words carefully and not acting out of emotions will help reduce the level of conflict in the relationship. Sometimes the best words are those that are left unspoken.
Confront with Care. Most people are NOT taught how to navigate conflict in a peaceful way. I was into my 30's before I discovered some practical techniques to help me navigate conflict productively. One of those resources was Crucial Conversations which gives you a step-by-step guide on how to have a productive conversation with the stakes are high and emotions are running strong. You may be non-confrontational or ready for battle. Whichever mode you normally go to, it is not healthy or productive. Start learning how to confront with care to reduce the chaos in your relationships.
Reach Out and Touch. I LOVE hugs. The power of touch is undeniable. There are many conversations that I have forgotten. There are very few moments that I don't remember being touched. This is NOT touch in a sensual or sexual way. What I am talking about is when someone holds your hand and says "It's OK"; when someone touches your shoulder and says "I understand"; or when someone hugs you and doesn't say a word. Learning how to appropriately use the power of touch will change the dynamics in your relationships. People FEEL that you care.
Don't Compare: You are Custom-Made. You know that I love this message because it is all about Your Unique. There is NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU! Too often we spend time comparing ourselves to other people or our situation to other people's situation. "If only they were like..." "If only I were like..." You fill in the blanks. This is self-defeating behavior. Comparisons always setup winners and losers. And whether you are on the winning or losing side, you LOSE. Relationship chaos will NEVER go away as long as you setup situations to create a winner and a loser. We must all win to feel loved. And understanding Your Unique as well as the Unique of others will help you avoid the comparison drama.
Be Vulnerable: Tough Love Lasts. Ultimately, I believe "love conquers all." Being vulnerable is about dropping your guard and letting people see the REAL you; the IMPERFECT you. When we are vulnerable to people we care about and people who care about us, it opens the pathway for intimacy (closeness). This is THE hardest part of loving others. It is not only about what we give, but what we allow others to see. It is about letting them into our heart. Being vulnerable will take you out of your comfort zone, but inside the relationship building zone. You cannot truly LOVE without being vulnerable.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Reducing relationship chaos takes REAL effort. And most of all, it will take persistence on your part to pursue the path of peace. But there is no greater reward than having authentic and loving connection with the people that we care about. It is SO worth it.
What are you willing to do to eliminate relationship chaos in your life?
What is one step that you can take to move in that direction?
Do it now!
I am cheering for you!
P.S. You enjoy this content, share it with someone. Let's take this journey TOGETHER. Love Your Unique. Live Your Unique.