We all experience difficult relationships. We may invest a lot of time and energy to improve things, often with little success. Sometimes the most difficult person in our lives is a family member, close friend, coworker or spouse. We wouldn’t even consider walking away from the relationship, but we feel that we’re always taking two steps forward, one step back.

Relationship challenges are tricky, because ultimately we can’t control anyone but ourselves. Here’s where coaching comes in.

Identify and break your relationship patterns

Sometimes we become so emotionally tangled in a tough relationship, it can be hard to take a step back and look at the big picture. You coach can help you look objectively at the patterns in the relationship, and the ways in which it’s dissatisfying.

Consider an example: Maybe you have a close friend who is quick to ask for support but never available to offer it. You may enjoy playing the role of supportive friend, but feel dissatisfied in the lack of reciprocation. You coach can help think about ways to ask for support and role play conversations telling your friend how you feel. Then once you’ve talked to your friend, your coach can offer insights about how to proceed based on their response.

Know thyself, understand others

After acknowledging these external patterns, your coach can help you examine the underlying reasons these patterns existed in the first place. Often certain relationships are problematic because they touch on something deep within us. Our desire to be appreciated. Confidence in our self-reliance. Self-acceptance and non-judgment of others. If issue shows up repeatedly in our relationships it may signal that it’s something to examine more deeply within ourselves. Coaching doesn’t have to only involve setting and achieving concrete goals, but can also help us get more in touch with ourselves and our psychology.  

In the end, just because you tell someone how you feel, it doesn’t ensure that they will be willing to change. They may not even be willing to talk about it. In this case, your coach can help you work through when these situations arise. This may involve just accepting that the other person isn’t capable of fulfilling these needs, and getting your needs met elsewhere. Or you may decide you’ll feel better in the relationship by setting different boundaries. Whatever the outcome, your coach can support you throughout the journey. And in our experience, you will likely learn a lot more about yourself in the process.

If you liked this post, check out this post about how coaching can help you expand or improve your social circles.

We wish you all the best in finding happiness and fulfillment in all your relationships!

The LiveCoach team