There are some relationships in one’s life that you just cannot avoid. These relationships include the ones that you have to interact with such as; Family, co-workers, bosses, co-parents, step children, in-laws, or anyone else who you are forced to deal with. These can be the hardest relationships to navigate because they are often people that you normally wouldn’t choose to be friendly with. Maybe these people are just difficult people to get along with, have values or morals that aren’t in alignment with yours, or they are just rude, angry, abrupt, or challenging.
Individual therapy in Orlando for adults frequently helps people find ways to set firm boundaries or teaches how to communicate more effectively with people that are difficult to deal with. The other benefit of talking to an individual therapist is that they can help you identify toxic relationships and how to manage them. Here are some clues to look for right now:
This type of person is hard to communicate with because you know you aren’t really working with them. You get the feeling that they can’t think for themselves and that is frustrating because the exchange is not authentic. Maybe it is a co-parent that has to ask their new spouse permission first before they can answer a question that has to do with your shared children. Maybe it is a co-worker that, despite being given autonomy, has to “check with the boss,” instead of working with you independently on a project. The problem with these relationships are that they are disingenuous. It makes sense why you will have trouble trusting people like this. Sometimes these people are motivated by fear and do not want to get in trouble with someone else. Whatever their reason is, you can’t expect them to change and if you do, it will only frustrate you.
Think about the people who you communicate with that expect immediate attention, answers, or a response. Because you are a courteous person, you oblige, but when you reach out to them, they ignore you (probably checking with that other person they have to talk to first). This behavior is rude, selfish, and inconsiderate. They may even try to play it off as a boundary, but in reality, it is passive aggressive behavior. The only thing you can do is not take it personally. Some people are not emotionally mature enough to be nice or respectful to people they do not like. Especially if they have had their feelings hurt by you in the past. They will usually try any tactic they can to always feel like they have control over a situation when it comes to you, so they can avoid being hurt again.
Individual therapy teaches how to have healthy boundaries with toxic people. It also teaches you how to recognize when someone truly doesn’t care about you and how to stop thinking they will. Sometimes people make conscious choices to avoid caring about people because it is easier for them. This means that they can’t allow themselves to hear how you are, or care about your well-being. As a therapist, I like to think that, as humans, people genuinely are not evil, uncaring people. I work towards helping people develop more empathy and understanding of others and understanding that there are reasons people develop defense mechanisms for self-protection.
This dynamic is something everyone has experienced at one point or another. Have you noticed that when you ask that certain someone, whom you have to interact with, “How are things with you,” they will tell all, but will never ask the same in return? This is a true identifier of a one-sided relationship that you shouldn’t take personal, but also need to distance yourself further from. These people tend to be selfish, often narcissistic, and are the one’s who people often characterize as being “sooo nice to the neighbors,” but family or close friends don’t always say the same thing.
This might be worst of the worst, energy zappers, who you leave every interaction with feeling drained, or worse yet, sorry for them. These people just always want to portray to you a sense that they are somehow at a constant disadvantage. The hardest thing is when they somehow make that seem like your fault. In some way, this may what they have told themselves and others, in an effort to make themselves look or feel better. Whatever the case, you can’t do much to change their negative attitude or opinion of you, but you can choose not to personalize things.
Especially when it comes to you or any past history you had with that person. This can be seen often by individual therapists in Orlando when clients refer to divorce. They often discuss how this person, maybe it’s an ex-spouse, co-parent, or fellow employee, always seems to be on the defensive. They may even reference the past and blame that on why they are as bad off as they are today. Maybe they even blame you. They have a very difficult or impossible time accepting or showing any responsibility for anything. These types of people have an uncanny ability to forget any part they may have played in past problems.
This is something that can be a part of passive aggressive and martyr behaviors. They are able to apologize (cue victim mode) but can rarely thank you sincerely if you have helped them out. To be “sorry” is an easy emotion, and gives them the chance to hide behind self-blame. Saying “Thank you,” on the other hand, implies gratitude or a responsibility to reciprocate (if you recall, reciprocation is not this person’ strong suit in relationships.) In these people’s minds, it could also make them feel in debt to you, which puts you back in control. Try to remember, this behavior is very rarely about you. It is about this person’s inability to let people in, to risk feeling hurt, and being unable to acknowledge their weakness.
Individual therapy for adults in Orlando can help with people like this. You can learn to identify these signs of unhealthy communication and develop techniques so that you do not personalize these behaviors. An individual therapist in Orlando will help you to evaluate your relationships, especially the one’s that you cannot avoid. If you want to learn more about sessions for adult counseling in Orlando Thrive Therapy, contact an individual therapist in Orlando at 407-592-8997 to book your first session today.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.