Relationship Troubleshooting: You v. You
Let’s face it - relationships can be hard. Especially the relationship you have with the most critical, judgmental person you probably know: yourself.
In normal circumstances, most of us combat nasty inner critics on the reg throughout the day and do so every day (or at least a couple times a week). However, I know I don’t need to remind everyone about the definitively not-normal circumstances that we as a global community are facing right now. With a dramatically increased load of stress, some may be finding their relationships with themselves becoming a little more hostile, especially those who are on a quaranteam of one.
That’s why I’m personally taking this time to talk to myself - and I mean really, honestly confront myself - with the goal of troubleshooting some of my own negative relationship habits and self-limiting beliefs. And indeed, whether or not you’re flying solo right now, you may also feel the need to start addressing some problems in your “isolationship” (relationship in isolation) with yourself.
If you are finding that you’re not on your own side anymore, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you make amends and find some more love in your isolationship.
- Take some space from yourself/for yourself. Do things that get you into your body and out of your mind. Release some judgment and stop launching assaults against your character for a minute to just let yourself be in a conflict-free space. Whether it’s meditating, reading, dancing, or dreaming, find ways to enjoy moments with yourself.
- Be your own sweetheart. Give yourself some love through self-care and affection, whether that means buying some flowers for yourself, treating yourself to a nice dinner, or indulging in your favorite self-care products and practices.
- Communicate. Take some time to write down or mentally reflect on what you’re feeling. Talk to yourself like you would to a friend or family member - use compassionate language and listen to what your heart, body, and mind are saying, without judgment. If you find yourself immediately delving into a laundry list of things you hate about yourself, pause. Consider your communication style and whether reframing your talk with yourself might have more positive results. For a moment, ask whether your perception of reality is indeed true, or whether your emotions and experiences are causing you to negatively amplify certain aspects of yourself out of proportion.
- Be willing to compromise. You can’t expect yourself to be a perfect person. Set reasonable expectations for your relationship with yourself. You may sometimes slip into bad habits or hurtful self-talk and that’s ok, as long as you’re aware of it.
- Find a mediator. It's okay if it's the dog, but even better if it’s a real person. Just having someone to share your problems with and feel supported by can make a huge difference - plus if it’s a real person, you get the added benefit of an outsider’s perspective which can make a world of difference in how you see yourself.
At the end of the day, having a positive, loving relationship with yourself comes down to prioritizing self-care. When you find yourself stuck in negative thought loops about your self-worth or character, remember that self-care is a practice that can help you reconnect with your body and mind in a nurturing way. Whatever you're feeling right now is ok. You don't have to be perfect, but you can take steps towards being kinder to yourself no matter what situation you're in.
Be well, love yourself, and remember to breathe.