Hello my friends, I’m so happy to be back here with you all today!
We are entering the eighth week of isolation practices here in the US. Before we get into the depth of my big tip for relationships during quarantine, I just want to say how grateful I am for all of you and for this community. I’m forever thankful for the love and support that we all can share during these very complicated, unprecedented, and unpredictable times.
The tests that life has for us can truly show us what matters, and I want to express my gratitude for you, as a part of this beautiful community, for showing up, and opening your hearts every single week. Now, for why you’re actually here. You want to know my number one tip for relationships during quarantine, (and always) so let’s get to it.
I’ve talked to many people in my life this week who are struggling with their relationships lately, and when you think about it, it makes total sense. This is a completely insane time for relationships. The social aspect of friendship has been completely removed.
The separation from the physical bond of families leaves us feeling even more alone. Single people of the world feel like dating has turned into a bizarre online free fall, and parents have been working double-time as teachers for their children. All of the typical dynamics of relationships, like everything else, have been turned upside down, and we are all managing this differently.
Personally, I experienced this when I felt a family member acting a little distant towards me. I couldn’t figure out why. My first instinct was to assume I had done something wrong.
I pursed through my brain for almost a whole day wondering what it could have been. Was I not being supportive enough? Had I not checked in enough? Did I say something wrong?
I wrote a lot of stories and felt really terrible over the thought that there was something off in my relationship. It turned out that there was nothing really wrong, I was just taking all of these “off” behaviors personally. I was making it about me, rather than realizing that this family member of mine was coping with this new reality in a different way than I might have expected.
So this is my biggest tip for relationships: Don’t take the actions or behaviors of other people, personally. Just don’t. Their behaviors have nothing to do with you. The way they think has nothing to do with you.
Their coping mechanisms have nothing to do with you. Shift your thoughts to the belief that if there’s something wrong, release the need to make it personal. Making it personal, will only bring you more personal suffering, and it doesn’t help you become a more supportive person, or help you understand what could actually be happening, in any relationship that you’re struggling with right now.
I learned this truth years ago from one of my all time favorite books, The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. He says not to take anything personally, because nothing anyone ever does is because of you, it’s because of their perception of a situation.
It is especially important during this time, to remember that there are so many dynamics, so many odd circumstances, so many plot-twists, and so many curve balls at play.
Life is not the same as it was eight weeks ago, and truthfully, life will never be the same again. We are grieving what was, and we all grieve differently.
The sudden upheaval of life, the tremendous loss and suffering is a global trauma. We all manage and process trauma differently.
The existential uncertainties and anxieties that make us wonder about our place in this world, and how we can find a way to survive in it, lead us to struggle to understand why this is all happening, and what our lives will look like in this “new normal.” We are doing the best we can and we are coping in our own way. I say all of this, not to sound dark and dramatic, but just to simply highlight this Truth, that no two people will react and process this time, in the same way, and this is totally okay. It is in knowing this, that we can choose how we want to respond, act, and participate with others.
The second we can remember not to take another person’s actions personally is the moment we can find relief and peace. If you find that this is something you struggle with, I hope you can start to weave this truth into your life, and watch how you can let yourself off the hook for the things that you were never able to control in the first place.
When we finally release the habit of taking it all so personally, we can have more time for ourselves, for the positive things we want to focus on, and the aligned actions we can take to strengthen our relationships in a healthy, happy way.
Know and remember that no matter what, you are worthy of love, you are deserving of love, and you are always enough, regardless of the actions that other people take.
Stay safe. Be healthy and well. I love you.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org