Do you have a relationship or friendship that needs to improve?

Is there someone in your life you are having difficulty or challenges with?  Do you have a relationship that you would like to improve?  This might be your partner, parent, child, a work colleague, neighbour or a friend.

Try this exercise:

Initially it’s important to acknowledge to yourself that you are finding them difficult and that they are triggering a negative reaction in you.  Sit somewhere you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes and have a few quiet breaths while you acknowledge and accept this.  Don’t feed these challenging feelings by thinking even more about what you perceive they have said or done wrong or what they are doing to annoy or upset you, just acknowledge your difficult feelings.

After a few quiet breaths, refocus your attention and bring to mind one thing you find positive about that person – it may be a characteristic of theirs, or that they’ve been supportive or generous towards you in the past, or it may be that they make you laugh, or that they are always at the end of the phone if you ever need them.  Bring this thing to mind and reflect upon it for a moment.

Then bring another thing to mind.  Again this might be any of the above or it might be something you admire about them – a talent or achievement perhaps.

Then do this again.  Ideally repeat this until you come up with 10 positive things about this person.  If you can’t manage 10 then come up with 5, if not 5 then 3.

Repeat this daily for as long as you need until you start to notice real and perceptible changes in your relationship with this person.  In my experience this can sometimes be almost immediate.

Let me know how you get on with this.