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How to Get Through Rough Patches Without Hurting the People You Love

— January 26, 2021

At the end of the day, you are doing this and all the above for you. You are being a better person, so who cares about the rest?

Stress happens. Tempers get hot. Nerves get jangled. Everyone experiences rough patches in life. It’s what we do with them that count the most. Rather than hurt those whom we love, it’s better to pause, exercise some self-control, and deal with the issues constructively.

Stop to breathe

Pause yourself. Pause your anger. Pause your frustration. Pause your potentially harmful words. Take a deep breath instead and be curious how much you need to get past your anger. Anger and pain are fleeting, so if you take a moment to chill, you’ll realize there is an explanation for everything, and had you not calmed yourself down, you probably would’ve overreacted. Words hurt, so getting that self-control is really useful, especially when dealing with the people you love.

Just because you love them, doesn’t mean you always have to like them

Sometimes, our friends and family can step on our nerves. It happens. How we react is what matters. Understand that you have your differences, opposing views, and worldviews, and don’t forget about that generation gap. Try to understand that while you may not always agree, you are still family. You are still best friends. Discuss, but then let go. You don’t have to agree on everything. You don’t always have to be right. No hard feelings should be your motto.

Acknowledge your emotions 

If someone you care for really hurt your feelings, don’t give them the silent treatment. Try to talk it out. Explain how you feel to be able to move on. Don’t run away from feelings trying to ignore them. Later on, you will sarcastically reproach your friend or relative or make spiteful jokes about what they did in the past or about their character, and that’s a bit toxic, especially because it will cause turbulence between you two. So treating problems directly and setting the record straight is helpful in the long run. With patience and mutual understanding included. It’s really important to understand the other side, where they come from. What made them do what they did and peacefully explain how and why they hurt you.

Give yourself and others a break

Woman holding finger to lips to show silence; image by philm1310, via CC0.
Woman holding finger to lips to show silence; image by philm1310, via CC0.

If the problem is too huge to handle at the moment, don’t rush it because you may overreact and exaggerate. Or the other side can. So cooling off is what helps here. Let the problem sink in and maybe you’ll find a different perspective. A few days going no contact could really aid for that fresh start.


Easier said than done, I know, but like, really listen. Pay attention. Friendship and family by definition mean over one person being included. Which means you are not alone. There is at least one other person with feelings and emotions just like you. Try to understand them. Their past, their experiences. Constructive relationships require communication that goes both ways, so before making any rash accusations, make sure you are paying attention. Make sure you are compassionate and make sure you listen.

Focus on the good in people

It’s easy to see the negative only. We as people tend to see that more often. No matter the good a person has done, somehow, we always focus on the negative. One negative thing, 100 good deeds, and we would still focus on the negative. 

Try focusing on the good things that person has done for you, their sacrifice and support. Remind yourself why you love them, why they mean so much to you. Get those things in perspective, and when you do, a stupid fight will not be worthy of your time.

Self-control and gratitude 

We need these two things in abundance. And patience, too. Whenever you are on the verge of bursting up, remember that once you say those words, you can never take them back and they make deep cuts. Seek to be grateful instead. For all the people you have around you. Seek to be grateful for your life and don’t take friendships and family for granted. Rather, invest in those relationships and you’ll see how reciprocity will not be far behind. Seek to be selfless.

At the end of the day, you are doing this and all the above for you. You are being a better person, so who cares about the rest? Who cares if some people are not? It’s their loss.

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