Stuck in the house with family members, your partner, or roommates that you are having a hard time getting along with? Or, you may need help getting along with a coworker at your job! I’m very sorry. For each person, the situation may look completely different.
You may be at home with a narcissistic spouse or family member that is letting their dysfunction out at maximum capacity. Or, maybe there are small personality differences in the people around that are starting to wear you down
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At this point, maybe all your buttons have been pushed. Whatever your case, I have some secret ingredients to help you get through this difficult time. However, I will need your help. You will need to creatively apply the following advice to your life. Why? Because, everyone’s situation is different and I can’t give you a personal prescription… (Unless, you write me at the advice cafe detailing your experience.)
Toxic family, friends, or roommate dynamics can drive you insane if you aren’t equipped with the tools to deal with each person. Even though I have the knowledge and skills, I’m constantly surprised and have to go through the same process to solve an issue.
Ready to learn how to deal with toxic family members? Difficult roommates? Or, an uncompromising spouse? Start by being flexible with the advice. Each situation is different and needs a deeper analysis. But know, that you aren’t crazy!
Tip #1-2: Self-Love is a priority!
- Be Kind to Yourself. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed, scared, agitated and angry. This is a difficult time for different reasons – financial, lack of daily routine, fear of diseases, etc. Don’t get mad at your emotions but understand them and explore them. It isn’t a sin to feel. The sin is what we choose to do with those emotions.
- Take sometime for yourself. You do not and should not do every activity with ANYONE. You will need to separate yourself from others for a short while. Lock your room door and/or go on a walk. If you are a single mom with kids… Find an activity to give your children (water balloons, play with the hose, etc.) where they can be wild and you can take a breather. Be creative to take sometime for yourself, which is one of my 5 steps to reducing anxiety. Some people need one hour and some need more, you know how much time you need so do your thing!
Tip #3: Be Others Oriented!
Preferring others is a major strategy to maintaining your mental health. To prefer another: Put your goals aside, then put harmony and loving your family as the main focus. Using harmony & love as a guide for communicating sets the pace for peace-making attempts well after this quarantine.
Steps To Prefer Others:
- Listen to others. They should feel understood by you, not judged or corrected.
- Let peace and love flow from your lips and attitude. Refrain from speaking or behaving negatively, criticizing, and shading your family members. You have to be the change you want to see.
- Ask questions to understand the point-of-view of others. You may not agree with them but everyone sees the world differently–and that’s okay!
- Don’t focus on who is wrong or right. Everyone has a story that deserves to be heard even if they did something “wrong”. Why spend precious time with family trying to figure out who is responsible for what?
Ultimately, everyone has a story that needs to be told and heard. When your family members feel understood and loved, they are more likely to listen to constructive criticism. But don’t forget: Growth is a slow journey… so be patient with them. You might also want to set some boundaries with people struggling with toxic tendencies!
Tips #4-9: Remove negativity!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be kind to yourself and others. This is stressful for everyone. Choose to drop the small stuff. Don’t focus on it either because that will drive up your anger or anxiety. Don’t let the small stuff distract you, choose to focus on your goals and/or positive things.
Related Article: 2 Keys to Stop Thinking Negatively About Our Loved Ones
- Choose your battles. Not every situation is worth mentioning for your emotional energy. Decide what matters the most to you before doing something about it.
- Have difficult conversations as necessary. Passive-Aggressive, petty, and suppressed emotions will lead to you lashing out. Choose to have conversations with people about things that are bothering you. Focus on having solutions for who will wash the dishes rather than fighting over who isn’t doing what. It really doesn’t help to point out guilty offenders. What matters is fixing the situation. And when possible, try to let go of things that don’t matter.
- Do something fun together. Try to do something fun with whoever your are stuck with. This will help you to remember why you enjoy them. You could: Watch a movie, play a board game, make a delicious 4-course meal, lip sync battle, karaoke, go on a walk, gardening, etc. You will have to be creative but you’ll figure something out!
- Take notes. Are you in toxic relationships or do you have toxic tendencies? You can read the article Am I in a toxic relationship or take the QUIZ: Do I have toxic tendencies? Perhaps, this is the first time you slowed down long enough to see that you or they may have unhealed pain.
- Do you need to dump someone? Some of you have read through all my advice and you know it won’t work for you. There could be seven reasons why advice won’t work in your relationship. If the situation is unfixable that means you may need to start thinking about how things will change after quarantine. Is that person healthy enough to stay in your life? Do you need to love this person from a distance? Do you need relationship therapy? Maybe you even need to set boundaries, yes even with your parents! Remember, the warning signs have always been there. However, this is the moment you realized and will eventually have a chance to do something about. Unhealthy relationships can keep you from achieving your best life and sanity!
Related Article: 7 Tips to Stay Positive During Quarantine!