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Relationship Advice When You're Stuck in a Destructive Loop...

Last night we saw the 2010 remake of the movie "Death at a Funeral" and laughed harder than we've laughed in a long time.

We recognize that it didn't get very good reviews but we loved it!

In the middle of all the silly, outlandish situations, there was some solid relationship advice for people--if you just looked hard enough.

Without spoiling the movie for you, we'll just say that most of us can relate at least somewhat with the family strife, discord, grudges and misunderstandings that we saw portrayed in the film.

Brother jealous of more successful brother, mother favoring one son over another, wife feeling not approved of by mother-in-law, father not approving of daughter's choice in men--all pretty common themes that run in "real" families, as well as this fictional family.

In the film, the family finally began to resolve their differences when several of the characters decided to change.

We loved the description of "change" from a book we've been reading--Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard.

The authors Chip and Dan Heath say that "someone has to start acting differently" for there to be change.

And in "Death at a Funeral" as in our lives--somebody has to decide that it's time to act differently if change is to happen.

Here are a few ideas about how to act differently so change happens in your relationships...

1. Change the situation.

You can stop doing something or start doing something new that will change a situation for the better. Let's say you know that you need to pay more attention to a loved one--maybe rearrange your schedule to include some time with this person. Making a change in your situation that you know you need to make but haven't done so up until now can certainly get you out of a destructive relationship loop.

2. Change the way you think about a situation.

Changing the way you think about a situation is a powerful way to create ease and change in your life. Let's say that you have been clinging to a relationship that maybe was once close and now it's not--but you keep arguing with the reality of what is. Accepting that the two of you have changed and maybe want two different things out of life is a healthy step in creating some ease in the situation.

Looking honestly at "what is" can get rid of unreal expectations that create all kinds of misunderstandings and upsets.

3. Change what you tell others about the situation.

Watch the words you use to describe your problem. Stop telling and re-telling grudges and grievances you have against this person to other people. It's amazing what can happen when you stop repeating what's wrong with your relationships and just talk about what's right.

Often, when you're in a defeating loop in your relationships, you can't see how anything can change. But change is possible if you just decide to simply act differently.

We invite you this week to look at your relationships and where you might act differently to create changes for the better!


Haven't seen the movie yet, but I agree with you. Watching what you say to others about your relationship is something we all should do. Once you tell someone something about your relationship, it stays with them. If you only talk about negative things, others will view your relationship as negative. Be sure to give a fair and balanced view of you relationship if you expect others to have a fair and balanced view of your relationship.

This blog helped me explain this subject to my son. Thanks :)

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Susie & Otto Collins


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