Congratulations!! You have taken a big step to start therapy. You are learning more about yourself and are growing in your awareness. You are developing coping skills. You are noticing that you are feeling less depressed and anxious, but now you are also noticing a problem. You recognize that your window of tolerance has shifted. Which means you are not necessarily tolerating as much as you use to. You may feel disconnected and unsupported by your family and friends. Or you may be noticing that you do not enjoy your current relationships as much as you used to. What if you are outgrowing them? If you can relate to any of the above, its OK. This is something that happens quite often in relationships when one person starts therapy or starts working on self-development or healing. The awareness and changes you are presently making can impact any of your relationships. Be it a romantic relationship, a working relationship, a familial relationship, or a spiritual relationship; here are a few things to consider if you feel like therapy is causing you to outgrow your current relationships.
Remember Your Why
Remember the reason you initially started therapy. It can be easy to fall back into old patterns. Especially when new dynamics become challenging. Your “why” is essentially your treatment plan. When you begin a therapeutic relationship, you and your therapist, will develop a plan for your treatment. What do you hope to get out of therapy? How would you like to feel? What areas would you like to see change in? If you are still in your process, then it is important to stay in your process until you receive what you came for. Your relationships may feel unstable so its important to communicate your goals with your partner.
Do Not Take the Reactions of Others Personal
Now this is something that is easier said than done. Oftentimes when we experience challenges in our relationship, we can take the reactions of others personal. We consider their unwillingness to support our change as a personal attack. Yes, it hurts, but we must also remember everyone has the power of choice. We can’t take other people’s power while we are trying to find ours. Know that their response to your changes is oftentimes more about them and their internal struggles than it is about you. Be aware that when you are evolving, you can essentially force others around you to change as well. If you are no longer responsible for others, now they are forced to take responsibility for themselves.
Communicate What Is Changing and Be Clear On Your Future Desires
Sometimes as we shift and move things in our lives, we expect others to flow with us without getting their consent. If you have shown up a certain way for years and all of a sudden you stop, it’s only natural for that person to question what is happening. It’s understandable that they will wonder what is going on. As you heal, change, and grow clearly communicate your intentions. You can start by saying, “Hey, I am no longer going to be available for you in this way”. Or “I’m not able to show up for you in that way”. Follow this by clearly stating what you are willing and available to do moving forward. They may have an issue with it or they may be supportive
Give yourself and others grace and compassion.
Change is hard. That is why we have the term “growing pains”. It can be difficult to develop and implement healthy relationships. You may contradict yourself and fall back into old patterns. Know that that is a part of the process. Keep people around you that appreciate your efforts and do not judge you. While you are giving yourself grace and compassion, you should also surround yourself with individuals who offer grace and compassion as well.
Know That It Is OK To Grow and It Is OK To Let Go
If you feel like the people you are connected to have the potential to grow with you, its OK to give them a chance to get on board. But if they are unwilling, know that it is OK also OK to let go of any relationship that no longer serves you. If a relationship is dysfunctional or toxic, and if the situation no longer aligns with the person you are becoming, it is OK to let go.
Always remember, sometimes things fall apart so they can come back together better. Maintain the hope that you are on the right track. In this process you are building a stronger relationship with yourself first, then with others.