During times of crisis, maintaining healthy relationships is more important than ever. But due to social distancing and more people working from home, it’s common for relationships to get strained. They say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but it also opens the door to misunderstandings and tension. Whether it’s with a family member, co-worker, or friend, every relationship is prone to stress during times of crisis and separation.
Rather than let these negative times ruin your once healthy relationships, a better approach is to shift from being reactive to proactive.
Make a Shift for Healthy Relationships
When you feel offended by someone’s words or deeds (and you will at some point), consider viewing the situation in multiple ways. For example, I may be tempted to think that a co-worker is ignoring my messages. Or I can consider the possibility that he has been very busy, has family problems, has heard bad news about his health, or simply that he may be overwhelmed in some way. When you avoid personalizing other people’s behaviors, you can perceive their expressions more objectively.
The fact is that people do what they do because of their personal situation more often than because of us—or what we do. Resist assuming the worst, which prompts negative thinking and feelings. Remember the adage: Assumptions are the cause of many screw-ups. By widening your perspective on a situation, you can reduce the possibility of misunderstandings and preserve your healthy relationships.
Tip: Human beings are social creatures, and healthy relationships are vital to our well-being. Don’t let challenging times lead to challenging relationships too.
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