relationshipsWhen it comes to relationship differences, how often do you think you can change other people?

Most of the time, communicating your concerns is the most effective way to resolve differences. Sometimes that doesn’t work, though. When this happens over and over again, it can lead to frustration and resentment, especially in situations where you are expected to get along with others regardless of their behavior — think co-workers, in-laws, relatives and friends. Going neutral may help.

5 Ways to Go Neutral

1) Take a break from efforts designed to please or impress.
2) Lay off of nurturing, taking care of or focusing on the people causing your discomfort.
3) Take a step back and intentionally stop the cycle of victimization and resentment you experience.
4) Shift your energy to people, places and things that feel good, make you feel appreciated.
5) Nurture your self-esteem and personal growth.

Going Neutral: What Not to Do

1) Do not direct negative energy toward others. Being negative is still effort.
2) Do not make sly comments or hurtful statements, throw mean looks, or intentionally ignore the other person.
3) Do not hurt the other person or try to get her/him to see your perspective.
4) Do not hope your neutral stance will lead the other person to change his or her behavior toward you.

For going neutral to work, you must have no expectations for outcome. Think of it as a rest stop where you can get your bearings and release yourself from resentment and frustration.

There’s Only One Person You Can Change
That’s you. Realizing this is powerful. Enacting this is even more powerful. Have you ever tried going into neutral with a difficult relationship? Tell us about it! We want to hear what you have learned. Or tell us about a relationship where this could help.