December and January are powerful months for me because I really take time to appreciate the year that’s ending and get excited for the year to come.
It’s incredible how nature gives us these cycles each year, month, and day when we naturally feel drawn to notice what we like and don’t like about our lives.
Looking back on the past year, Friend, and the effort you made to build stronger relationships, is there one relationship where you’re still wondering, “What will it take to reset this relationship?”
Maybe you don’t get along with your brother, your boss, or even your entire family.
If you’re confused about where to go from here, these five tips will help you reset your relationship.
1. It’s okay to sit in the uncertainty. In our culture, it’s common to want to get out of the discomfort as quickly as possible—to find out the details, ask questions, and start problem-solving. If you’re at a point where you don’t know what to do, it’s okay to wait for clarity. Notice and embrace the uncertainty. It’s a beautiful place where you can be open to creativity and resourcefulness.
2. Be inspired by your effort. Even when you don’t have the results you want, you can still take inspiration from the effort you’ve made. Have you ever noticed that when you take action, even though it’s really hard, you feel good that you tried? You feel empowered and strong. You feel relief for sharing your thoughts and just “getting it out there.”
3. Act without expectation. The reason you feel inspired by your effort, even if the outcome wasn’t what you hoped for, is because you were acting from a place of love and sincerity. When you act with love, you’re acting without expectation for how the other person will respond.
If you’re disappointed and upset after you reach out or make an effort, it’s likely because you have expectations about how the other person should react. But if you act from love because that’s what feels good to you..and that’s what feels right…you’ll feel good about the effort you made no matter how the other person responds to you.
4. Rebuild trust. If you’re not at the point where you can act lovingly without expectations, that’s okay. Stay open to it by looking for little opportunities to respond with kindness, generosity, honesty, non-judgment, and respect—even if your actions don’t appear to have any positive influence on the other person.
This starts to build trust. But the key to making this work is to be consistent. Trust is built on consistency. If you’re not consistent, they won’t believe that the effort you’re making is honest and sincere. It will feel manipulative. Building up this consistency could take just a moment, or it could take weeks or years. But the willingness to try is the important part. If you start to act consistently with kindness, generosity, and love, the other person will be more likely to see that you truly want to improve the relationship.
On the other hand, trust is not one-sided. You could be very consistent in showing respect and kindness, but the other person doesn’t show the same to you. You might feel like you can’t trust them, even though you’re doing things to help them trust you. If they aren’t ready, or don’t seem interested, to reset the relationship, that’s their choice. Then, you also get to choose whether it makes sense to let go of the relationship or to continue loving without expectations.
5. Pay attention to your own reactions. In order to be consistently respectful, tolerant, and loving, you need to be managing your emotions and reactions to people. If someone triggers your anger, and you react, that’s normal. But it doesn’t improve the relationship.
So notice when you’re getting angry. Notice when you shut down or withdraw. Notice where you haven’t yet been willing to forgive the other person for things they did in the past. And notice where you’re being judgmental or unkind. All of these things are pieces of the puzzle to becoming consistent in your reactions, which builds trust.
For example, if you get angry in the middle of a conversation, ask for a break before you withdraw and shut down. When you’re confused in an argument, and don’t know what to do next, simply say, “I’m not sure where to go from here.” You don’t have to fix it right now. Sit in the uncertainty. Wait for clarity. Revisit the topic tomorrow.
You can see how it’s all connected. Acting with love, and without expectation, is the goal. Everything else flows from that intention.
If you’re having trouble doing any of these five tips, or it’s not yet clear how they’re all connected, let’s talk. In a free Relationship Reset session, I’ll give you strategies to help you act with more consistency from a place of love, and without expectations, so that you can reset the important relationships in your life.
I’m with you on this journey.