Have you ever been in a situation where you are trying to express yourself, but the other person thinks you are arguing?
Misunderstandings are a part of communication, but sometimes there are people who just don’t seem willing to understand you, no matter what. It’s like they are super committed to misunderstanding everything you say.
It can make you feel like it is your fault for expressing your feelings or for feeling hurt. But remember, that’s not the case! You always have the right to express how you feel, as long as you do it in a kind way.
So, what do you do in these situations? How can you tackle toxic relationships like these? Keep reading.
Take a Look at Yourself
The first step is to take a look at yourself. Were you overly critical about the other person? Were you coming from a place of love or blame? Is it possible that perhaps you used some harsher words than you intended?
Before you start to treat this as a toxic relationship, consider where you might be at fault. This is not to invalidate your feelings or your experience, but just to look at the argument from a neutral perspective.
When trying to express your emotions in a way that is productive, it is important to stay calm. Letting the other person affect you emotionally and reacting instead of responding not only aggravates the situation, but it also makes you feel worse. So, if the other person begins to trigger you, it’s crucial to stay grounded and try to calm yourself.
Take a few slow, deep breaths. Actively relax your muscles. If you are on the phone or in a situation where you can distract yourself, try doodling, fidgeting with an object, or closing your eyes and visualizing a calm place.
Don’t Get Roped into an Argument
Once you are calm and grounded, you can be more intentional about how you respond. Resist the urge to reply with retorts, to blame, or to defend yourself. Aggravating an argument will only result in more tension, anger, and negativity, robbing you of your inner peace and mental wellbeing. Instead, try responding with something neutral, like “I’m sorry you are hurting so much and I get where you’re coming from.” By doing this, you won’t intensify the situation. You are validating their experience and expressing that you understand why they feel the way they do. Remember, it’s not worth your inner peace to ‘win’ the argument.
When dealing with someone who constantly picks fights with you and shows disrespect for your feelings, consider setting boundaries and limiting the amount of time you spend with them. If it is an elderly family member you feel responsible to take care of, hire a nurse instead. If it is a toxic friend, stop hanging out with them.
Remind yourself that you are allowed to verbalize and express your feelings. Even when people don’t understand or react in a way different to what you expect, do not blame yourself. Stay positive and surround yourself with people who love and respect you. Besides talking about your feelings, you can also express your feelings through journaling, creating, or dancing. Prioritize your mental peace and well being because you deserve it.