OH! Magazine - Australian Version December 2018 - Page 9

HEIDI DI SANTO learns the lessons they needed to learn so they can grow and consciously evolve as a human. 3. Staying engaged for too long and not speaking up Many people believe that relationships ‘should be conflict free’ and so try to avoid conflict at any cost. But the truth is that conflict is very normal and actually very healthy in relationships because it brings issues out into the open, to hopefully be resolved. It’s the working through problems and sticking together through hard times that actually brings people closer. And having the belief that relationships should be drama free actually sets you up for failure because it means you miss this important step! Some people are afraid to discuss their problems with their partner because they’re worried it will end the relationship. It happens when relationships operate out of fear as opposed to love. It’s where people tiptoe around their partner afraid of ‘rocking the boat’ by speaking up. But this is just a game of emotional blackmail that isn’t healthy. You see, when you ‘shut down’ and ‘shut up’ and ‘hold back from speaking your truth’, you need to suppress a part of you that feels upset, hurt or disrespected. And doing so causes disharmony within (because you have to split off from the real you), and this isn’t good for your mental health! This approach just delays the inevitable. You see, holding back on the little truths means that the little things can become the big things that could end the relationship. It also means that one day you might ‘flip a switch’ and burst out in a way that you might later regret! Having the courage to disengage, stop playing ‘the game’ and walk away is where your ultimate power lies. But this takes a lot of self-love and many people have unhealed wounds that keep them bound to others in ways that are dysfunctional and toxic. And healing from this is something that needs to be addressed by each individual so change for the better can be made. setting a good example for the young and impressionable people surrounding you? 4. Not resolving conflict when you do speak up Actions speak far louder than words in relationships and it’s your responsibility to do the necessary ‘inner work’ to be able to stand up for yourself and create ‘respect and equality’ in relationships so that love can truly flourish and so you can teach others to do the same. A big problem in relationships is not having the skills to deal with conflict when it arises. You see even if you do speak up, if the issue isn’t fully resolved, the love will get covered up by anger and resentment, which is often at the root of many breakdowns. It’s also why the original love in relationships can so easily turn to hate. Getting angry and ‘letting off steam’ is not enough when you experience problems in your relationship. Being able to work through issues so both parties feel resolved is essential for the relationship to stand the test of time. Unfortunately, many people live like two ships passing one another in the night – never truly ‘seeing’ one another. For a relationship to work, you need to truly understand one another, and this requires empathy. It’s a skill that can be learned and is essential for authentic connection. 5. Poor role modelling Children learn about relationships by watching and mimicking adults. So what sort of an example did the adults around you provide, as you grew up and are you When you allow yourself to be disrespected and when you ‘sweep things under the carpet’, you send the message that it’s okay to be this disrespected in relationships and it’s okay to hold back on speaking up and setting clear boundaries. If people have the skills to work through their ‘stuff’ and stay engaged with the significant and important people in their life during difficult times, then the world would be a much better place to live because things will get worked through and worked out. But, only you as an individual can improve this! The idea is to do the necessary inner work so you have the best chance of transforming your relationships from being ‘emotionally stifling’ into real, healthy and loving connections, where you’re free to be you, where your partner is free to be their own self, and where you both feel respected and understood. If you’d like to know more about how to achieve this, check out the free training available from The Emotional Fitness Gym. CONNECT WITH HEIDI VIA: Web: theemotionalfitnessgym.com Web: heidi.com.au OH! MAGAZINE ( DECEMBER 2018 ) 9