We are social beings who are wired for connection. Yet, as much joy as they can bring, relationships of all kinds can also be a source of deep pain, confusion, and frustration.
As a psychotherapist, one of my passions is supporting people in improving all of the relationships in their lives. We start by co-creating a safe therapeutic relationship, a healthy relationship within you, and develop skills that will then transfer to and enhance all of our other relationships.
One of my favorite quotes from a mentor in graduate school is: It’s the tears and repairs that build relationship. To me this means that relationships are stronger when we make mistakes AND then show up to fix them. All of us make mistakes. It’s part of being human. Isn’t it nice to know that we can actually use them to make our relationships stronger?!
I also believe that the most important relationship in our lives is the one we have with ourselves. It is truly difficult to fully show up for our kids, partners, friends, and family if we are not resourced and connected to ourselves. Unfortunately many of us neglect ourselves ending up feeling exhausted, used, needy, and unavailable.
Whether in or out of relationship, our time is best spent building self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-love. When we stop trying to impress people or get them to like or approve of us, we are more able to risk being our full, imperfect selves. Can we strive to build our confidence to a level where we know we will be ok even if others ridicule, judge, don’t like, or leave us?
Whether you are codependent, avoidant, or both, healthy relationships start with you. Give yourself and everyone in your life the gift of loving and being responsible for yourself. It’s contagious!