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Softening in difficult relationships

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I am new to this forum and site. While I am have practiced mindfulness for quite some time, and have taken many other courses, I am approaching this course with a beginner's mind and very much enjoying it so far.

I wanted to ask the community, how personally do you handle difficult relationships? While I try to embody the principles of compassion and the practices of non-resistance and soften, soothe, allow, sometimes it can be very difficult. I would love to get your feedback.

Thank you.

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Hi there,

Welcome to the community! What is your name? I can only see your email from this vantage point.

Yes - difficult relationships, even when we are versed in the techniques of mindfulness, can be, well, difficult. A few things have worked for me that I can share:

1) Mindful pauses during difficult conversations. There have been times when in the midst of a heated conversation with my partner I have said something along the lines of, "Can we just take a minute to close our eyes, slow down, and breathe?" When we come back to the conversation, the energy is almost always different - gentler and more open.

2) Just Like Me meditation - have you tried this one? It serves as a helpful reminder that despite our differences, we share so many fundamental things. Sean Fargo leads one here: https://mindfulnessexercises.com/downloads/just-like-me/

3) Feeling the feelings. Let's say it's not a conversation we're talking about but just a strained relationship on the whole, I try to get at the root feeling that I am experiencing. Often times it is sadness, perhaps for a relationship that has changed or that is not what my mind desires it to be. I try to sit with the discomfort that I am experiencing due to the difficult relationship.

These are just a few ideas. Let me know how they sound to you, if you already practice some, or if you have other things you're working with. I'd love to hear more! Thanks for posing the question.

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Dear Gillian!

Yes, thank you so much! All of the above is indeed very helpful. I have definitely tried number 3 above, along with loving kindness meditations with some success. I appreciate your offering up the meditation in number 2, and also for your conversation pause. I will try them.

I'm so excited to be here!



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