Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you know that a relationship needs to change – but for one reason or another, the other party does not share the same viewpoint?
This could apply to a working relationship, a romantic partnership or even a friendship that is on a slide.
If you can relate to this situation, the question is – what do you do next, to avoid the awkwardness and possible fall-out?
“Just because someone’s opinion is different than yours,
it does not mean that they are wrong.“
In NLP, we adopt the viewpoint that, as individuals, we should try and respect the other person’s model of the world. This basically means that to help all parties concerned, respect ensures balance and consideration.
Perhaps you have also experienced a situation where another person’s behaviour really annoys you? It could be the way that a friend talks to their children, your own child’s “anti-social” behaviour or even the way that your partner loads the dishwasher!
When these clashes occur, the conditioning belief you are holding is that (to a certain degree) they are doing ‘it’ wrong – or rather they aren’t doing ‘it’ your way.
It’s important however, to accept that you are not responsible for another person’s behaviour. The very fact that you are challenging their thinking (maybe just to yourself), fuels the likelihood that you are still going to reach an impasse.
We are always going to encounter people in our lives with whom we do not see eye-to-eye, but if we want to seek agreement or maybe just a compromise, taking action can be a very bold but necessary decision.
Remember, what you allow – will continue.
Now, we cannot go around changing people’s minds, just because we disagree with them. But if their behaviour is impacting on your life, then action might be justified.
If you allow someone to treat you badly – there is no reason for them to stop doing so. The solution, maybe as simple as ‘just saying No’ – but, to facilitate change, firmer assertiveness might be required.
By assessing these relationships, it helps to understand whether these particular associations are in fact, serving you well or not. Once you have reached that decision and decided whether or not the relationship is worth saving, then there are a couple of options available :
- to cut those people out of your lives, or
- to try and repair the damage and make some changes.
If you are able to remove yourself from a toxic relationship, be it emotionally and/or physically, it is a difficult decision nonetheless. However, if this is not an option – then how can you reduce the negative impact that a decaying relationship might be having?
The choice is always yours. It may be time to take responsibility and to make still braver decisions. Two, very impactful options are :
- to APOLOGISE or
- to FORGIVE.
Two very strong words – I agree.
“Apologising does not always mean that you are wrong
and that the other person is right.
It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”
By apologising, you can accept blame for a situation, without relinquishing your power. Apologising is indeed, a bold step, and it is your decision as to whether you feel the relationship would benefit from an apology. But, if you want the situation to improve then taking this step is a sign of your intention to make amends and move on.
I believe that an apology does not make you wrong – in fact – it can often strengthen your position. In spite of that, it is a powerful choice to have to make.
Have a frank and honest discussion.
Where possible, avoid bringing emotions and ego into this sort of conversation. By perhaps explaining that the end result was not your intention, and by approaching the conversation with sincerity and integrity, it will help you maintain your position. However, I advise – do not try and give excuses. It is important not to get into another debate – and, where possible, avoid giving the other person’s negativity and emotional drama any airtime.
The conversation should not be about apportioning blame – but demonstrating the willingness to move forward.
If however, an apology is not an appropriate response – then perhaps forgiveness can help your situation.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
I believe that forgiveness empowers you to free yourself from the burden of bitterness; whether you are forgiving someone else – or indeed yourself.
In life we are generally doing the best that we can, given the circumstances and the resources that we have at the time. Sometimes, we get this wrong – but that’s OK. Maybe now is the time to let go.
Again, this should not be surrounded by ego and emotion. To forgive, means to release the resentment and the anger, with peace in your heart. By forgiving, you are not condoning bad behaviour – but instead you are distancing yourself from it.
If you need to address a toxic relationship – or just a tricky conversation, then give this exercise a go :
: : Fly on the Wall : :
There are 3 viewpoints to any relationship / situation.
Position 1 : Your viewpoint : Invariably and understandably you are likely to be very wrapped up in this situation. Your thinking and hence your actions will indeed tend to be subjective. Opinions which have been developed over time are likely to run quite high. Be wary that your decisions are likely to be clouded due to these emotive circumstances.
Position 2 : “Their” viewpoint : The opinions of the ‘opposing’ side are likely to conflict with your own. Try and respect the other person’s opinion. Be curious to their situation and try and appreciate why they are thinking what they do.
How do you do this ?
Ever heard of the phrase “Walk a mile in someone’s shoes”? It’s a matter of assessing the alternative viewpoint with an open a mind as possible. Understand their values and beliefs and acknowledge their position also.
Position 3 : “Fly-on-the-wall” Viewpoint : Here’s the game changer. Pretend you are fly on the wall. Look at the language each side is using, notice the body language. Observe the situation without judgement and without blame. By being impartial, it is easier to look at a situation objectively. Pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. If you remain unprejudiced this can be a very enlightening process.
By remaining impartial, it is easier to find a solution or a compromise. Because, after all, if you have not walked away already – there is still the hope that a resolution is possible.
Have the strength to make the decisions you need to that allow you to step into your own power. It is important to make the right decisions that work for you and those closest to you.
If however you are still struggling, please do seek support; as you so not have to suffer in silence.
As an NLP Master Practitioner I understand how to apply a number of techniques that can help with any potential minefields. NLP has some highly effective tools in it’s armoury and if you feel you’d like a chat, please get in touch.
Much Love 💕