Relationships come in many different forms, such as the ones we have with our significant others, parents, siblings, children, business partners, co-workers, staff, and friends. While we may feel differently in each of these relationships, one thing that is constant is wanting to feel good when interacting with these different people in our lives. But, no relationship is without conflict. It’s when the conflict becomes hurtful, or when we find ourselves feeling tense around that person, or avoiding them altogether, that signals a problem. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem with you, or a problem with them, but there is a problem in the relationship between you both.
When we experience disappointment in a relationship, we may feel unheard, minimized, confused, angry, lonely, hurt, or frustrated. These kinds of feelings can interfere with our ability to communicate or fully understand how we really feel because we want to protect ourselves from showing any sort of vulnerability when we are already feeling so vulnerable. In fact, you’ll probably end up unintentionally engaging in the same patterns of conflict where one cannot let things go and one retreats, and then you’re left wondering why nothing is changing in the relationship. Romantic partners may experience a lack of intimacy and betrayal, friends may feel isolated and frustrated, family members might feel unheard and minimized, and work colleagues might feel they can’t trust others.
Learning to hear each other differently, and communicate more effectively takes patience, and we can help guide you through the process of being able to listen more closely, and communicate more successfully. When you’re each fighting for air time, it’s inevitable that you are not going to feel heard. This can be discouraging as you might give up because you feel it’s to difficult to navigate conflict. And, it’s even harder to find the words to articulate how you feel beyond saying, “I’m angry.” But, anger is really the catch-all we hide behind because the other feelings we have we believe other people won’t understand, or we may feel too exposed if we share them.
In our experiences as therapists, we’ve noticed that if one person in the relationship is able to articulate and communicate more effectively, the other person in the relationship will respond favorably, even if the message being given is hard to hear. We can help you recognize and articulate your thoughts and feelings, and guide you in how to express yourself more meaningfully.
When it comes to relationships and communication, we offer individual, couples, and family therapy. Most people believe if they are having conflict in a relationship, they need the person with whom they are having the conflict to be in session with them otherwise the conflict can’t be resolved; however, in individual therapy, we can help you learn how to communicate more effectively to foster positive change in your relationship(s). If the other person with whom you have the conflict is also motivated to join the process of therapy with you, we are happy to see you together in session. Contact us for an initial appointment or complimentary consultation below.