We’ve all experienced a detrimental relationship with a loved one. At some point in our lives, we’ve all had to face the consequences of their peculiar, frustrating or insufferable behavior.
After all, when you think about it, even though we’re all human beings with the same flesh and blood flowing inside our veins, we’re perfectly created combinations of different beliefs, fears, insecurities, quirks, strengths, flaws, and paranoia.
So, when it comes to interpersonal relationships, it is natural for us to sometimes fail at meeting someone halfway.
It might be because you’ve been avoiding someone’s clear signs for help. But, then, it also might be because you’ve desperately tried to change someone. You’ve pushed too far when all you needed to do was to listen.
The thing is, no matter how much you try to fix another human being, if they aren’t aware of their flaws, they won’t do it. No matter how much you try to change someone, whether it’s your boyfriend, parents, friends – you need to understand that they are human beings, not machines that need to be fixed.
You can analyze their behavior for days and provide them with the best possible solutions for their issues in the most convincing way you know. But, if they cannot find the will inside their hearts and start the process of change on their own, they won’t do it.
You can bend over backwards trying to help them, console them, heal them, fix them, change them, but if they don’t feel the change within their soul, everything is useless.
As a result, the only thing you’ll end up with is your own frustration and inability to help a person in need.
So, instead of desperately trying to save them and fix them, you can try to support them by giving them the much-needed space and time for a potential change.
Understand that even though your intentions are nothing but pure and real, sometimes all a person needs is another human being who’ll just listen. Without saying a word. Without giving any unnecessary advice.
So, here’s a few, useful methods that will help you improve your ability to listen:
1. Acknowledge the certain situation
Sometimes the smallest changes in your behavior can show how much you care for them and want to help them. A simple “aha” or “I understand” can do much more than a long, frustrating talk about their issue.
Acknowledge their situation and let them see you understand the way they feel.
2. Take a deep breath
Unwind and take a deep breath while talking to them. You’ll notice how the more anxious you are, the harsher you’ll appear to them.
It is normal to feel tense while talking to a loved one who experiences troubles in life. But it is also normal, to be honest about that feeling. Stop for a second, take a deep breath and then continue with the conversation.
3. Let the silence speak for itself
Because sometimes no advice is the best advice someone needs.
No matter how pure and kind your intentions may be, when someone is in a challenging and vulnerable position, there’s a huge risk that you’ll eventually end up rejected.
The more you pressure them with your solutions the more you suggest that your way is way better than anything they came up with. It shows that you have no faith in them.
Instead of pressuring them, let them speak. Listen to everything they have to say and believe in their ability to grow.
Let them heal. Watch them evolve.