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Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to Stop Being Easily Offended in a Stressful Relationship

 By Evelyn Roberts Brooks

 Photo: isasecretaffair.com

If "easily hurt" is a phrase that describes you, then you've got a chance to remove a lot of stress from your life by learning how to have a thicker hide to shield you from the pain.
When our feelings are easily hurt, and we often find ourselves upset by what other people say and do, it's tempting to put all the blame on them. However, in many, if not all, relationships an impartial referee could observe you and return a scorecard splitting the guilt almost evenly between you and your spouse or significant other.
Why is that? Because in a relationship, even when one person is controlling and angry all the time, the reactions that the other person gives in response help perpetuate the unhealthy cycle. He yells and then you cry and try to defend yourself. Or she rants and then you give her a cold shoulder as punishment. Neither of these reactions shake up the relationship the way it needs because they simply feed the pattern of retaliation and misunderstandings.
But you can learn to stop taking everything personally. It requires building your self-esteem by doing esteemable acts.
Here are some ways to get a thicker skin:
• When your partner in this stressed relationship says something that you find hurtful, do not respond in your old way. Shrug and say, "Well, you may be right." And leave the room to end the discussion instead of hanging around and waiting for a comeback
• Spend time with supportive friends now and then instead of being so focused on this relationship
• Let go of the idea that every remark has to hurt -- simply let them fly past you instead of allowing them to hit your heart
• Stop waiting to catch your mate saying something to hurt or upset you -- keep busy with your own goals and interests
• Practice a few phrases to say in response to the really mean comments, such as saying "I really don't accept that remark" or "That really hurt my feelings and I'd appreciate if you don't talk to me that way" -- learn to stand up for yourself politely and stop being a doormat
• Put your energy into other projects, and practice positive affirmations to strengthen your inner core
As you practice releasing another person's remarks and behavior instead of taking everything personally, you will also discover that your stress level naturally starts to drop. Without all that stress sapping your emotions, you will have the energy to explore additional solutions for your relationship.
Learn more about positive thinking and how to have healthier relationships in "Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today" -- get Instant Access to the ebook at http://forgetyourtroublesbook.com
I'm an Amazon bestselling author of personal growth books - "Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today" and "Get Happy Today: Your Path to Lifelong Happiness" - and I'm a motivational speaker, novelist and screenwriter. Visit my blog on stress reduction, happiness and healthy relationships at http://evelynbrooks.com

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