The Circle Line

How to Deal with Relationships


Relationships in these strange times may come under some strain; let’s work together to figure it out

Relationships can be complex at the best of times.

But amidst the Covid chaos when we are likely to be shut indoors with the same people – day in day out – we can all help to make life easier. We can work on being that bit more aware of how we treat each other, how we talk to each other, what we need and how we relate.

In it together

If you live with others, issues of social distancing and perhaps household isolation might prove trying.

That’s to be expected. Self-isolation is tough and can create a pressure-pot of emotions and frustrations when we’re shut in together in close quarters.

We all have unhelpful ways of relating sometimes, and if these have become a habit, something like Covid can make it harder for everyone to stay kind. Let’s look at what we can do and how we can be more aware during this time.

Tension is normal

Conflict and tension is normal between people, particularly if you live together. At the best of times we may find arguments and disagreements uncomfortable – but the restrictions the Covid virus is placing on us doesn’t help.

Positive relationships in close quarters need positivity. Sounds obvious, but how many of us are used to practising that on a daily basis?

If we can acknowledge and begin to address the importance of our relationships during these times we can help keep the atmosphere positive and aim to support, or perhaps it feels more like tolerate, everyone in our household as much as we can.

Keeping OK when we’re shut indoors

If things are getting really tense, or if a tricky relationship is becoming more so under these Covid conditions – there is support right here for you. Don’t let it simmer, but talk to a professional. There’s a lot to cope with right now – don’t let your relationships with friends, family and loved ones be another burden.

Get talking

If you can see your household becoming a pressure-cooker, counselling is a proven way for you to let off steam, get some balance and ease the situation.

Practical measures to keep households well

Here are our 10 steps to dealing with your relationships whilst we’re in semi-lockdown:

  1. Be open: We can’t get out in the open as much right now but, or rather so, it’s especially important to talk. Take this opportunity to share a bit more about yourself.
  2. Express your feelings as they arise, don’t let tensions simmer: Identify your issues and say them out loud. It helps for everyone to know what’s going on and how each other is doing. Burying things and holding grudges will only add to household tensions. Equally…
  3. Forgive: We’re going to piss each other off. We’re enclosed and might get enraged. Know when you want to let something go, and how to breathe, count to 10, and move on.  Try to see the bigger picture for the good of all.
  4. Think positive things about yourself and others (obviously necessary for No.5…).
  5. Say the positive things you’re thinking: We need to keep up a positive spirit right now. People need to hear 5 positive things for every 1 negative one.
  6. Be physically affectionate: Touch, hug, stroke, kiss, have sex… Plenty of time to spice up your sex life now the pubs are shut…
  7. Do small things for others: No grand gestures necessary. Remembering the small daily details of life is crucial right now. Share the tea-making, cook imaginative meals, give a footrub, sit down and do something together that you wouldn’t normally do. Take this opportunity not just to binge on the latest Netflix boxset but to take care of each other.
  8. Do small things for ourselves: simple stuff works – take a hot bath, do some press-ups, read that book we’ve always wanted to, learn a new skill, play the music you love. Basically, we need to take care of ourselves right now.
  9. Listen and give each other space: When shut indoors we all need peace and quiet; and we all need to understand each other. We need to learn to listen in order to do so. Listen without interrupting, with no agenda, without calculating what to say next, without trying to control the conversation. Listening means pausing and being quiet. Space allows us to do that.
  10. Talk to a therapist: This helps us a) deal with everything that is happening right now, b) give us a chance to keep ourselves and others well, and c) perhaps even give us a chance to get to know ourselves and evolve as a person during this time – and emerge as an even better husband, girlfriend, mum, dad or simply as a human.

Find your therapist

Closeness can get uncomfortable when we can’t get enough space. But there is support out there and we can learn ways to cope; we will get through this if we do it together.

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