When A Friend’s Relationship Isn’t Working

What do you do when a friend’s relationship isn’t working?

December 4, 2019

What do you do when a friend’s relationship isn’t working?

Mostly what people do is become co-conspirators in directing the blame to the one who is at fault, become amateur coaches, counselors or therapists, or become brokers in directing the friend to a coach, counselor, or therapist. The probable success of the first two tactics is minimal; the third approach often results in making a difference. 

What often seems to be in the background of the actions that people take in the case of a friend’s relationship not working is a sense of the friend’s helplessness. Indeed, the friend may actively or passively express helplessness – an inability to deal with and resolve the issues in his/her relationship. Seldom do you get a sense of your friend’s power – and responsibility – to resolve the issue or issues. So you may feel compelled to do something about your friend’s situation. 

But is there anything that you – or anyone – can do to guarantee the resolution of your friend’s relationship issue(s)? Of course there isn’t. Relationship professionals will acknowledge that. Only the actions of your friend – and of the other in his/her relationship – will produce a resolution of their issue(s).         

Yet there might be an access to make a difference in your friend’s actions and relationship without knowing what to do and how to do it. You might be effective in making a difference by doing nothing but standing for – and expressing your stand for – your friend’s success in his/her relationship. 

You might simply engage your friend in conversations in which he/she sees his/her power to be the difference and to live the difference he/she wants to have in his/her relationship.

Wishing you strong, lasting friendships,

Sandy&Lon, Carol&Paul, Sierra&Zach

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