Mandy Kloppers

When relationships are hard

Some of my happiest days have been spent as a single person. I have felt like I could truly be myself and forge a future that was exactly what I wanted. When relationships are hard, I yearn for my single days. Then again, it’s easy to always think the grass is greener on the other side. Whenever I am faced with a personal challenge, I try to learn from it and use my professional expertise to help me find a way through.

It’s much harder when it’s your own emotional shit – I am so much better at dealing with problems that my clients have than I am in dealing with my own stuff. I think my counsellors would agree with that statement. Counsellors also have self doubt, clouded thinking due to emotions etc. Our personal relationships get clouded by emotional reasoning and sometimes I don’t see the way forward clearly.

So what can you do when relationships are hard work? What do you do when there seems to be a lack of understanding between two people? This is what I have come up with:

As hard as it may be, try to see the other person’s perspective

When you lock horns, so to speak, there are always two sides to the arguement. It’s often hard to relent, swallow your own hurt and pride and try to have empathy for where the other person is coming from. The problem arises when one of you is more logical than the other and they miss the emotionl content of the message completely.

Never talk when you are feeling very emotional

Don’t try to resolve an issue when you are still feeling upset or angry. Take a bit of time out and allow some perspective to return before you try to re-address the issues. We are far more likely to resolve and problem solve when we are less emotional.


It’s vital that you both look for solutions that involve BOTH parties making a change somehow. Relationships are a two way street. It can’t be led by only one person. Both people need to consider each other’s needs.

Decide what the aim of the conversation should be

When yuo are ready to talk, make a list of the objectives. What do you want to gain from talking about the problem? Can you brain storm together to find solutions?

Try not to overreact

I know that I can jump to conclusions, catastrophise and let my emotions get the better of me. Remember that in the heat of the moment, things will seem far worse than they are. Don’t say anything you will regret, just have a bit of time out and gather your thoughts.