Maintaining healthy relationships during a time of uncertainty is quite stressful. Each person is under different kinds of stress which takes its toll on relationships. So it is important that we learn our way in managing relationship stress in the new normal.
With many individuals facing unemployment and families grappling with financial instability, stress build-up is a common occurrence in this new normal. Relationships are important as they provide meaning to person’s lives. Social ties also provide individuals with a sense of hope and a circle of support during tough times.
Tips to Managing Relationship Stress in The New Normal
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you navigate through relationship stress not only in this new normal, but in the times ahead.
Understand each other’s unique needs
No two relationships are the same because each person has unique needs and expectations. Thus, there is no one method that fits all types of managing relationships.
It is more helpful to first figure out what each person’s unique character is and how you are different from them. This way, you have a better idea of how to communicate with them about challenges.
One way to look into is to figure out what love language each of you has. This way, you already have an idea of how to comfort the other person when they are stressed out.
Stay on their side when things get stressful
When you see that the other person is under great stress, cut them some slack. Give them breathing room to think and vent out. You may be feeling just as stressed but getting into a verbal fight won’t help things.
The best thing to do is to walk away from each other until both of you have calmed down and are not as emotional about the issue. Give each other some time to think things through. Giving the other person time to manage their emotions is also being kind to yourself as you don’t stress yourself even more. After all, you can’t calm someone down if you aren’t calm yourself.
Most importantly, remember that this situation is just a phase and it will also pass. So there is no need to dwell in it too long. Talk only when both of you feel that you are ready. Trust that in the end, everything will go well.
Take the time to listen to each other
Only talk when both of you feel that you are ready to sort things out and be honest when doing so. Don’t go into the conversation with the intention of winning the argument. Your main goal should be to understand the situation as a whole, which means understanding the other person’s point of view.
This means that you have to listen actively. Listening actively involves letting the person finish their thoughts instead of butting in. Asking them questions to clarify what they mean instead of explaining your own point of view. This is key to a deeper understanding of the other person’s feelings and perspective.
Take turns to listen and express your feelings and perspectives. Pause to think when you need to. Clarify when you need to by asking questions. Be honest and sincere so that the other person will do the same.
Give and respect each other’s alone time
It may seem like the wrong approach but taking some “alone time” or “me time” is important during challenging times. Even if we crave for social interaction so we can talk out our issues, alone time provides us with the breathing space to vent out and to truly understand how we feel about the situation and how we hope things will turn out.
So if someone suddenly doesn’t return your messages or calls, don’t send them an angry text or make incessant calls. Instead, send them an encouraging message and tell them that you look forward to talk with them again as soon as they have time or when they are ready.
In the same way, taking time out for yourself to process the thoughts and emotions that stress you out. This will also help with your mental health. This gives you the space to clarify things in your own head and heart so you can talk about it with honesty and sincerity.
There is no magic recipe for how to make relationships work. There is certainly no guide book in managing relationship stress in the new normal. However, maintaining healthy relationships is an important part of every person’s life. Stress caused by challenges is also a part of each person’s reality and in every relationship. It will help you grow individually and help your relationship develop even further.
It is important to give each other time and space to do what they need and maintain an attitude of understanding when conflicts and problems arise. In this way, you are able to resolve conflicts and manage stress so you can maintain your relationships.