It can be challenging to stand by while someone is saying things that are blatantly negative about you. Or things that can be perceived as such. It’s particularly painful when you learn of someone saying something negative about you to your stepchild.
Especially when the child is little. Since little kids are more impressionable than older children who can discern more of the truth for themselves.
Trust me … I know this all too well and have had to overcome years of personal struggle with this very thing. I would beat myself up and waste lots of energy and time trying to figure out how to get people to like me.
But I realized that most of the issues didn’t have to do with me at all. Instead, they had a lot to do with how I showed up in that relationship and in those interactions.
Don’t Lose Yourself, Stepparent
When you encounter things like negativity – whether it’s rudeness, or that someone is bad-mouthing you, or being downright toxic – most of the time it’s not personal. This can be tough to keep in mind because it feels so personal when you’re being attacked.
Remember, someone’s behavior towards you, reflects who they are not who you are. Their actions say something about them. It has nothing to do with you and doesn’t MEAN anything about you.
Instead, I’d like to invite you to show up as your authentic self. There is a beautiful opportunity to recognize that you have a choice you get to make. You don’t have let someone change who you are and your behavior.
Don’t let them drag you down to their level by stooping to the same antics. Doing that would be giving away your power. You would be letting someone else call the shots in your life and determine the outcomes.
Plus, you would only be giving them ammo. Because now they would have tangible bones to pick with you.
An Effective Approach for Stepparents Caught in Challenging Relationship Dynamics
Instead of looking at the relationship like it’s an intimate relationship, look at it like a business or professional relationship. This perspective accomplishes to things …
1. Identifies how best to respond strategically.
Because you’re looking at the situation and correspondence with a professional or business lens, you remove some of the emotion which helps to see things strategically.
So, think of it as if you’re dealing with a client or work colleague, albeit maybe a difficult one.
How would you respond to them?
You would probably carefully consider your response. You might say something to diffuse any anger, and only address what absolutely needs to be addressed in the most neutral manner.
Or you might decide that it doesn’t really need a response and just an acknowledgement that you received the message is sufficient.
2. You’ll get the peace of mind of a clear conscience.
Additionally, in a business or professional relationship you would probably be more likely to own any errors or missteps on your part.
In an intimate relationship it’s easy to feel like if you admit any fault or take any responsibility it’s as if you’re giving something up. Or like you’re letting them get away with something. Like maybe you’re letting them win.
But the truth is, it’s not like that. By holding onto bad energy and letting it fester, it’s only hurting you taking a physical and emotional toll. And it creates more discomfort every time you see or are reminded of that person.
You don’t have to live in that kind of prison. Looking at the situation and conversation from a business relationship point of view, you’ll be able to own your part. Thereby, releasing any feelings of guilt. You’ll be able to bounce back and move on with a clear conscience.
If you find yourself struggling with resentment, guilt, shame, anger, or any other disturbing emotions, go ahead and book a Rapid Resolution Session at synergisticstepparenting.com/rr.
I’d love to help you get clear and move forward with ease and joy in all of your stepparenting relationships! And I know it’s possible for you.
Until next time, be well!
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