It’s possible that you have a relationship with someone that even though you seem to get on some or a lot of the time, the relationship is fragile, delicate, even if you pretend to know otherwise. While maybe it’s not anywhere near as bad or awkward or whatever as before, you have to tread carefully with this person. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about the angry thoughts and feelings we experience when this person disappoints, upsets or offends us, and what we can learn from it.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • If some of your first thoughts or the focus of your reoccurring anger is all the things you’ve done or cutting them off or dumping them, or remembering all of the things that you dislike about them or how many chances you’ve given or won’t be giving again, or what someone else would do, this incident serves as a necessary reminder that you and this person are not as OK as you thought.
  • Some of our relationships, whether because of family ties, history, something, are not mutual like some of our other relationships but we continue because we care about that person and maybe hope to evolve the dynamic over time. And sometimes we continue with a less than mutual relationship out of obligation, habit, guilt or fear. 
  • Much as the idea of a ‘clean slate’ or ‘looking forward’ seems attractive, that history, including the pattern of our interactions was and is there. Pretending that it isn’t doesn’t serve the relationship or each party.
  • Society has conditioned us to feel ashamed and embarrassed about having less than harmonious relationships, and so it’s not unusual for us to construct some our relationships under notions of OK-ness. They end up being like Joey’s pretend Porsche in Friends.
  • Saying that a relationship isn’t OK isn’t a criticism; it’s liberating. And now you can have more honest boundaries instead of gaslighting and compromising yourself (or the other person).
  • If you’re thinking of cutting off or dumping someone, you will still need to have healthier boundaries. So if you’re doing this so that you get to have the power, make a point or to punish them, or in lieu of being more intimate with yourself and even this person by confronting the issue and learning how to have healthier boundaries, cutting off or dumping won’t fix it. 

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