People are social creatures who crave connection and partnership. However, the people in our lives are often the greatest source of our stress as well. Anxiety can cause stress in relationships and also be a symptom of relationship dysfunction. It can be tricky to tell if the anxiety is the cause or effect. Therapy can help you figure out if your relationships are healthy and teach you how to set appropriate boundaries. It can also help with understanding your attachment issues which can cause problems like dependance, co-dependance, push-pull dynamics, controlling behavior, and avoidant tendencies.
We often treat the people closest to us the worst even though we care for them the most. We tend to hold it together when out in the world and then let go at home, which can result in being irritable, demanding, or shut down. By learning better emotional regulation and stress management skills, you can treat the people you care for the way you want to. You will also be able to better identify when you are not being treated fairly and ask your friend or family member to change with you.
Effective communication skills can also facilitate a healthier relationship. We don’t always say what we mean and we don’t always know how to say what we feel in a clear and caring way. By learning what is blocking you from opening up and skills to better communicate your feelings, you can greatly improve your relationships. Even in cases where the other person is unwilling to participate in treatment, one partner making changes can have a positive impact on the relationship or help you decide when it is time to let go.
Therapy can help you improve your relationships with the most important people in your life including yourself. If you feel that you are being hurt in a relationship or hurting someone you love, now is the time to change the pattern and build a happier future.