How to clear relationship clutter
Key 5: Reduced Clutter

How to Clear Cluttered Relationships

This week I invite you to take a look at clutter, as it exists in relationships.

Take Stock of your Cluttered Relationships

Call on Enchanted Key #1: Mindfulness to assess the relationships you put your energy into. We all have had people in our lives, (present company excepted of course!) whose welcome has expired because they either turned out to be different than we thought, they take more than they give or have hurt us, deceived us or cause us angst in one way or another. These people may be family members, making it even more difficult to care for ourselves and still be in relationship with them. Sometimes, even with family, differences cannot be resolved.

In most cases, though, there is hope. Boundary setting is an important skill that the Dragons don’t want you to know about. Sharing how you are affected by their behavior or treatment of you can also make a difference. Owning your part in the deterioration of the relationship is critical, too.

Apply The Model to Healing Cluttered Relationships

Dr. Robert Carkhuff’s model to heal relationships encompasses the core aspects of empathy, respect, genuineness, concreteness, learning to explore, understand and take action and to listen with the skills of attending, responding, personalizing, and initiating.

The model, simplified looks like this: I feel_________when you___________.
The blanks get filled in with the only four feelings there are: mad, sad, glad, or scared. Any other names for feelings are fancy embellishments of these. The second blank is completed with a behavior.

For example: I feel ANGRY when you CONTINUALLY BREAK PLANS WITH ME. You might also feel SAD about that. Dragons want you to character assassinate the other but that gets you nowhere productive. Another favorite of Dragonspeak is to say: “I feel LIKE YOU ALWAYS GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT AND IT’S NOT FAIR.”

Please refer back to feelings and notice they were not included. “Getting everything you want and it’s not fair,” is not a concrete behavior. See how this gets tricky? There are also no additions to the initial sentence, such as: I feel ANGRY when you CONTINAULLY BREAK PLANS WITH ME, you stupid jerk! No. We don’t go there.

Hold Yourself Accountable

“I’ve been thinking…” is always a solid place to start a conversation. Do use “I” sentences and take responsibility for your part in the failed relationship, when appropriate.

Be as kind as you can, but be truthful. Likely, it will hurt and be one of the hardest things you do, but to keep emotional ties to stagnant energy drains you. If there were items in their possession, you would want to have them returned prior to this conversation so that the parting is clean.

Please take stock of your relationships this week and see with whom you want to continue to spend your time and energy.

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