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A topic that I specialize in in my coaching business is strengthening relationships with adult children.  I think it’s important to understand first, what makes up a relationship.  This applies to any person we interact with. 

There are three parts to any relationship.

  1. What the other person thinks about you. (Or what you think the other person thinks about you).
  2. What you think about them.
  3. What you think about you.  (How you feel about YOU in the relationship with the other person).

Take note that all parts of a relationship are based on your thoughts that are in your mind.

Remember…..thoughts are not facts!  They are opinions about the relationship.  So that means how we feel about a relationship is based on thoughts we are having in our minds and not on what someone actually says or does.

The good news is that since we had the agency to think anything we want, we can have any kind of relationship we want with anyone.

Our relationships are not dependent upon how other people treat us or on what other people say to us.  Every relationship we have with another person is the one we have created in our minds.

My daughter might show that she’s upset with me, she might even tell me so.  But maybe she’s jealous that her life isn’t working out as well as mine.  WE NEVER KNOW WHAT SOMEONE ELSE IS THINKING.  So it’s really none of my business what some one else’s thoughts are.

More good news is that we can choose thoughts to create any kind of relationship we want by working on the parts of the relationship that we have control over. We have the power to create thoughts about how we want to think about them and the power to create thoughts about how we want to think about ourselves.  This is where all our attention should be focused in developing a good relationship.

Our thoughts about how other people think about us should only be creating thoughts of curiosity, fascination, and compassion.  We have not control over how other people think about us.  But if we disagree with how they perceive us, a more peace way to focus on the situation is to just be curious as to why they think this way.

But this is where are lower brain wants us to spend it’s time in determining a good or bad relationship.  Our lower brain thinks that it’s how people think of us that controls the depth and health of the relationship.  But our lower brain is wrong!

To have a good relationship with someone, we need to manage our lower brain to focus our thoughts on having good, not judgmental thoughts toward others.  If we opt to have kind, compassionate thoughts about everyone, we are determining beforehand what kind of relationship we’re going to have with people.  Even if we think, they don’t like us, we can choose to have curiosity and compassion for them.  Our result is that we can choose to have a good relationship with them regardless of how they feel about us.  That is my right and my “super power”.

Not everyone is going to like us.  We can be the sweetest orange on the tree but some people don’t like oranges.

But if we want to feel good, we need to decide to focus on something we like about them.  We control our thoughts so that means we control my feelings.  Why would I want to feel upset about someone when I can feel compassion and curiosity?  We just all want to feel good, right?

We may have an adult child that doesn’t like how we act around them, but we can choose to love them anyway because that’s what we want to do.  We are not dependent on having a relationship with a child because of how they think about us.  Our relationship is dependent on the thoughts we choose to have about them.  It’s always our choice to think thoughts that create love and understanding.  This is what parents do that want to feel connected to their adult children. 

When we can love ourselves for who we are, we are able to choose to love others exactly as they are.  We can’t think well of others if we don’t well of ourselves.

If we try to change ourselves to be more “likeable” in our children’s eyes, we end up not liking the person we tried to change into, creating a very superficial relationship.  In time we become resentful and pull out of the relationship.

If we become people pleasers in order to become more likable, we develop a relationship that doesn’t feel like peace and love.  If we say yes every time our kids asks us to watch the grandkids because we think they’ll resent us if we don’t, we’re going to start feeling disrespected and resentful. 

Remember loving yourself is key in having a good relationship.  Because you love them and you love yourself, a more loving thing to say is no sometimes when it’s not a good time for you.  Building up resentment or avoidance over always saying yes does not make them like you any better, because your thoughts about them aren’t going to be authentic.  Instead of being eager to answer their calls, you may start avoiding answering their calls.

Are you confident enough to love others and yourself at the same time?  Are you willing to feel some negative emotion for the sake of love?

You can love others and still disagree with them; you can love others that disagree with you.  It’s when we start judging others that causes the relationship to fall apart.  When we get into judgment, we aren’t feeling love.

If we were to respect that they have an opinion about something and I just have a different opinion about it then all that is happening is two people have two different opinions.  And that’s ok.  We are just like each other because we both have opinions even though our opinions differ.  We just need to learn to be fascinated and curious about some one else’s opinion.  

Having the same opinion has nothing to do with having a healthy relationship with someone.

So what do we do when we feel we are in a difficult relationship?  Instead of thinking how can we get them to behave differently?  How do I get them to be more like me?  We need to be asking how do we love them exactly the way they are?  What curious or compassionate thoughts can we be thinking about them?

And how can I love myself more.  We need to let go of what others think about us and focus on our own value.  Focusing on what you like about yourself does more to help you focus on what you like about others than any other practice you can be doing.

It takes practice redirecting your focus about what the other person about you to thinking what you are thinking about them and yourself.  Practicing will cause you to have fulfilling relationships with any one you choose.

Meaningful relationships are based on love

            Loving that you both have opinions.

            Loving them exactly how they are.

            Loving yourself exactly as you are.

I help women who are struggling in their relationships with their adult children.  I would love to help you stop struggling.  Let’s chat.  I offer free consults.  Click any where you see “Book A Call” tab.

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