At some point in time, we have all run into someone that just drives us crazy!
That no matter what we do we just can't get ourselves to like them.
It's just something about them...well, maybe if we are honest it seems like it's just everything about them!
If you feel this way about a family member, friend, or a person at the office you have to be asking yourself, "Is there hope? Is it actually possible to turn that relationship around?"
The answer thankfully is YES!
There is hope for every relationship, yes, even the one you're thinking about!
A few years ago I was in a relationship like this.
A family member (who shall remain nameless to protect their identity lol) was driving me crazy.
It seemed like nothing I did was ever quite right and in my eyes, everything they did drove me crazy!
It hit me one day that since we were family something was going to have to change - just avoiding her was not an option!
My number 1 life rule is: "It starts with me" so to be true to myself I knew I couldn't wait for her, it had to be me!
That's the first step by the way.
If you want to repair a relationship you have to actually decide that you want to!
That might seem like a simple first step, but I see so many people making half an effort at tough relationships simply because they didn't make fixing it a must.
They say they want to, but they're not fully 100% committed.
And that is what it takes.
Once you decide that you want to take an active and purposeful role in making a relationship better you have to be all in.
If you are not, then stay at the sidelines, make the best of it the way it is and stop complaining.
100% committed means not backing out when it gets "too" hard.
It means not responding with old negative behavior if they trigger you with something they do.
It means having a vision for your relationship and keeping that in front of you at all times.
No matter what!
So what is step two?
I had to see that in so many ways we were exactly the same.
I had to take stock of all the ways that we were similar.
Some were super basic - we were both women, both in the same family.
Some were a bit deeper - we both desired love, respect and had a need to be heard.
And then some were tough to admit - we were both souls created by the universe connected through that force to one another, we had oneness.
And as I focused on our 'sameness', the first seeds of compassion started to sprout in my heart.
Which makes step three just a little bit easier.
I began to keep an eye out for what we had in common, what could bond us.
So often, when we naturally clash with someone we spend most of our time focusing on our differences.
Which tends to only make them larger.
By being aware of where my focus was I could shift it to bring to light where our common ground could be found.
So I began to make sure that when we were together, we spend time in the areas where we had common ground.
We talked about our kids, about fashion, we made fun of country songs lol!
And the more I did this the more I realized she was a funny thoughtful person.
My heart was beginning to thaw more and more.
Now, this isn't to say that there weren't things that bothered me.
Of course, there were!
But the less I focused on them, the less important they seemed and the quicker I could get over them, even if they seemed intentional.
I also stayed reasonable in the areas where we connected.
I started with things that were sweet and simple, not areas that required deep beliefs and values, where the tension could rise.
Talking about kids, fashion and music was a great simple place to start.
But I realized there was more work to do.
Which brought me to step 4.
I realized that I had to let go.
After years and years of frustration, annoyance, hurt and blame, I had to let go!
Let go of the snarky things that were said, let go of the insults, the cold shoulder, the lack of support.
Because if you don't let go of them they lay quietly under the surface, waiting for a moment of weakness when they will jump up and pounce on you, dragging you down into behaviors you thought you had left behind.
So I let go, when a memory would come up or a reminder of a hard time, I just let go.
I felt the pain, and then I said goodbye to it.
And I could finally see my own snarky remarks, my own moments of cold shoulders towards her, how I had hurt her and held back my love.
I could finally see her pain as well.
Which lead me to my last step...
I had to forgive!
Both her and me!
We had both done things and acted in ways that were not a reflection of who we truly were.
So I forgave her, and by her actions, after a while, I could sense she had forgiven me too.