We’re not designed to be in isolation spending 24/7 with another person.

Human beings aren’t meant to be confined in small spaces with one or two other people.

It’s what we need to do right now to keep us safe, but it’s just not in our nature.

That’s why Pilots aren’t just hired for their flying skills (although essential).

Pilots are often hired for their other abilities such as keeping calm under pressure or getting along with their crew whom they spend hours stuck in small spaces with.

The last thing you want while cruising along at 30,000 ft is your Pilot storming out of the flight deck because they’ve ‘had enough’ of their Co-Pilot.

So…

that’s OK.

You’re not alone.

I argued with my partner over the weekend (our new baby has just started teething and emotions were definitely running high in our household) and interestingly enough I found myself reverting back to old habits of making it ‘wrong’ that we weren’t getting along.

Lying in bed late Saturday night I just couldn’t get to sleep (bloody frustrating I tell ya after I’d finally got Mila to sleep).

I couldn’t stop thinking…

“Why were we fighting so much over nothing?”

“How come I felt so upset?”

Then it hit me.

We needed a ‘break’.

Not a ‘Ross and Rachel on Friends’ kind of break, but a break from the chaos.

We do really well in our relationship when every now and again we have a little break from each other.

I go and visit family, he goes and works on his cars, or even something as simple as going out for a few hours to clear my head for a bit, usually has me returning feeling refreshed.

Because it gives us a chance to miss each other. We get some space and remember what’s important.

But that’s not possible right now.

So what we needed was a relationship life-raft.

And that’s the case for most of us.

Many people I know are struggling right now with spending so much time stuck in isolation with their partner, their family, kids, friends, just about anyone in their bubble.

And that’s totally natural.

Because spending long periods of time with other human beings allows you to see sides of them you’ve possibly never seen before.

You’ll see them at their best, their worst, and everything in between.

But yet we seem to hold on to expectations of how we want them to be.

How we think they ‘should’ be.

We create these expectations in our heads every single day, and when they don’t live up to them, we get upset.

That’s when arguments start.

So how can we avoid this right now?

Something I find extremely helpful when I feel upset, frustrated or let down by someone is I start to get curious.

“What’s really going on here?”

“Why did this particular thing trigger me?”

“Am I really upset about him not doing the dishes? Or is it something else? Some underlying issue we haven’t resolved yet?”

Dig deeper.

Ask real questions.

Be honest with your answers.

One of my favourite quotes that I have a love-hate relationship with (I love how refreshingly true it is, but I hate when it slaps me in the face when I want to believe something is someone else’s’ fault) is this…

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung.

I look at it as…

What frustrates you about someone else, says more about YOU than it does about them.

Some people get infuriated by messy-ness, others couldn’t give a crap.

Some people get frustrated with dishonesty, others are extremely forgiving.

What upsets you is unique to YOU.

It relates to your internal set of values, your behaviours, your expectations in life.

It’s not someone else’s fault that you’re upset.

You’ve decided to react angrily to something someone else has done.

That’s all it is.

Remember that YOU could react differently.

You could choose to not let it get to you.

It’s up to you.

That doesn’t mean the other person gets off the hook necessarily, but it gives you a chance to talk about what’s really bothering you like “I’m feeling unappreciated lately” instead of “I’m always doing the dishes”.

So next time you find yourself getting frustrated at the other people you’re isolated with, ask yourself this question…

“What does this say about ME?” Or “Why does this upset ME?”

This is just one of the tips I’m sharing to help you create your own life-raft in order to keep your relationships afloat during this difficult time.

If you would like to learn more about communication in relationships, I can help. Send me a message to find out more.

Keep checking back each week for more handy tips here on our website.

Stay safe everyone!

Melissa.

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