Relationship Problems

If you have difficulty in making and keeping friends, maintaining a stable marriage, or you feel lonely, you might come to the conclusion you have difficulties in relating to others: hence the phrase 'relationship problems'.

On the other hand, it is often someone else, possibly a loved one, that you see as being a big part of the relationship problem. It could be that you think they need help but they refuse to make that move.

Either way, counselling can help you improve the way you feel in yourself so that you can become more effective in relating to others.

Blaming

If others say things like you are hard to get along with, or blame is being apportioned to someone, then here is a sign that personal responsibility is being shifted unfairly: after all, the way to overcome problems like this is to talk things through and work together, otherwise somebody will end up feeling hurt and lonely. So I say, forget about whose fault it is, let's talk about it openly so we can avoid the assumptions we make that keep us in the dark about what's really happening.

Links to other issues

Anxiety, particularly anxiety about yourself, is one way that relationship problems may arise: not feeling 'good enough' to stand up for yourself can lead to feelings of being 'steam-rollered' into accepting all the blame.

Depression would develop as you built up negative expectations of your behaviour, based on past experience.

Low self-esteem may result from memories of not looking after yourself.

Bad Habits

As your counsellor, I would notice and feed back to you the way you relate to myself and others so that knowing the impact your patterns of relating has, you can motivate yourself to find other ways of responding to your own feelings and the demands of others.

Habitual ways of thinking are often worth bringing to light in order for you to become more self-aware, and then, being more self-knowing and accepting, it is easier to act in more deliberate, less unconscious ways. After all, what has become habitual is probably automatic and therefore an unthinking reaction.

Inflamatory Language

I will help you to find other ways of negotiating with others that do not inflame situations, as it is often careless use of language that conveys additional meanings that others interpret differently to what you meant.

For example, instead of saying things like 'you always do ...[this or that]...', say 'when you do [that] I feel like [this]'. This has the benefit of not sounding like an accusation, but lets the other person know the effects their behaviour is having on you.

I aim to help you feel better about yourself, take responsiblity for what is your's and stop others holding you responsible for their stuff.

Recovery

It takes a while to work through relationship problems, particularly if it is you who are being unfairly treated, but I will listen to your story and reflect back to you what I am picking up with respect for you and in an impartial way so you can make the changes you need to build bridges, not burn them!