It’s hard to tell the people in your life what you want, even simple things like where you want to eat or what time you want to meet up. Therefore, you end up doing whatever other people want.
You and your significant other are stuck having the same argument over and over.
When someone you care about hurts your feelings, you end the relationship. But, you’re getting tired of always starting over.
Do you long for a more meaningful life where your relationships are positive and powerfully connecting, but you just don’t know how? You are not alone.
Relationships and Social Connections Are an Important Part of Life
Every relationship is important, rather that is between parent and child, spouse to spouse, co-worker to boss, or neighbor to neighbor. When we experience a lack of connection to those around us, we generally are not our best selves. Periods of disconnection occur in even the strongest relationships. And when our relationships are in distress, generally our world falls apart.
Examples of Common Relationship Issues:
- Trouble telling others “no,”
- Lack of close friends,
- Short or non-existent romantic relationships,
- Trouble telling other people what you need,
- Having the desire to be a “people pleaser” and make others happy all the time,
- Issues creating healthy boundaries
- Grief over a breakup or friendship ending,
- Not being able to open up or be vulnerable with others,
- Intimacy issues
The Impact of Trauma on Relationships
One of the biggest impacts of interpersonal trauma has on your life is the damage it does to your ability to trust others. Examples of interpersonal trauma include a sexual assault, an abusive partner, or childhood neglect. When you get hurt by someone you know and trust, it can leave you doubting your own instincts.
Often, you feel unsure about who you can trust. After a trauma, some people start interacting in a more guarded way with others. This of course gets in the way of others getting to know you well and developing that deeper connection. Therefore, a part of trauma treatment is learning to trust again. Perhaps, first with your therapist. Then, you may work on your ability to trust other people in your life outside therapy. Shame also makes it hard to connect to others.
Silence feeds shame. Therapy is a safe place to break the silence and begin approaching the shame and its impact on relationships.
New Connections Counseling Center’s Approach to Relationship Counseling
The Power of Vulnerability
The power of vulnerability is a concept that has been expanded on by Dr. Brene Brown. She defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” Perfectionism, according to Brene Brown, is a classic defense mechanism used to protect yourself from getting hurt. She highlights that, what perfectionism actually does, is protect you from being seen.
Brene Brown’s ideas are useful in working with relationships. They help us understand how things such as shame may get in the way of human connection. She defines connection as: “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive, without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship”
Self-Compassion and Healing Your Relationship Patterns
Dr. Kristin Neff is one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion. Self-compassion is about giving ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend. Dr. Neff said “self-compassion involves acting the same towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” “how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”
Learning to be compassionate rather than harsh with yourself is important. It leaves you open to real connections and relationships. When you are harsh and judgmental of yourself, you may want to hide. This might mean you avoid or distance yourself from other people or put up a front when you are uncomfortable.
Individual Relationship Counseling Can Improve Your Relationships
Relationships are key to a happy and meaningful life and counseling can help you have better relationships. The therapists at New Connections Counseling Center take a relational approach to therapy. We believe that relationships are important for your mental health and overall wellbeing. We will help you work on building trust and safety in your relationships. This creates the necessary foundation for working on your relationship concerns.
Begin Individual Relationship Counseling in Baltimore, MD
- Reach out to us using our appointment request form.
- Learn more about our therapists who specialize in individual relationship counseling.
- Begin individual relationship counseling and learn the tools needed to live a very fulfilling life
OTHER MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES OFFERED AT NEW CONNECTIONS COUNSELING CENTER
In addition to individual relationship counseling, our Baltimore, MD counselors offer a variety of mental health therapy services at our counseling clinic in Baltimore, MD. Ultimately, our goal is not only to help you feel better but help you live better. Therefore, our services include therapy for depression, anxiety treatment, counseling for grief and loss, alcohol abuse treatment, counseling for life transitions, individual counseling for relationship issues, therapy for survivors of sexual assault, therapy for women, and counseling for college students. Call our office today to learn more about the many ways we can support you on your journey towards better emotional health.
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