Alison Blackler Shares Some Tips About Relationships

Alison combines her professional expertise, and her own lived experience, to analyse the often complex dynamics of relationships. Most adults spend much of their life in an intimate relationship.

Relationships are potentially satisfying. They protect us from loneliness and can improve our mental and emotional wellbeing. However, they can be challenging, and many different issues can cause couples disturbances. There are obviously arguments, fights and power struggles, but there are also stress-related reactions to each other, leading to further problems.

Relationships can present the most complex challenges in life. We are all different in the way we think, speak, interpret and feel. We spend so much of our time feeling misunderstood or unheard.

Trusting The Journey Of Life 

Many relationships have both highs and lows. Each stage gets you nearer and nearer to being the ‘real’ you. Over time, being able to see what is behind some of the decisions, limits and uncertainty, and gives you the answers to make changes.

You might be focused externally for the answers, and yet these are usually inside. Most aspects of life are linked to a relationship of some sorts – one with yourself, your family, friends, colleagues and obviously intimate ones.

I believe that if you take time to see a relationship as two individuals coming together in unison rather than just two people becoming one, it is healthier. While the latter might sound romantic, it can leave you feeling unfulfilled, stifled and miserable.

Challenges can build up in a relationship over a period of time, increase in frequency or create difficult consequences. The job is to work out what is acceptable and what is not. Each person’s relationship is unique, just like the people in them. Couples can experience turbulent phases, which can lead to much needed changes, or the relationship may become too difficult to continue. Relationships can feel stressful, and it is important to consider the wider perspective.

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For some, it can look like a relationship is easy and natural, although there is usually work and commitment aplenty. When relationships work well, there is give and take, respect, honesty and positive regard.

With the right balance of compromise and flexibility, it is vital to allow each person to flourish within the relationship. This all sounds so idealistic, and the reality of life and, indeed, relationships, make this an interesting journey.

If everything were plain sailing, the personal journey would probably be limited. While you clearly need some time of stability, you learn the most from challenging situations. The trick is to see these as a chance to change rather than as a negative experience.

Relationships take work and commitment, though focusing on yourself first is critical. This understanding gives peace and clarity. Almost all couples will have misunderstandings, conflicts and disagreements. We will each do things that annoy the other. It is fair to say, ‘all relationships take work’.

However, you must not get confused with those that leave you exhausted and drained. It should not constantly feel like hard work. There must be a balance and knowing this balance can make all the difference.

Being in the wrong relationship is no one’s fault; it can be an honest mistake. When it is a real challenge is when you and a partner are essentially mismatched. There is no way to change or reconcile — the best thing to do is to recognise it for what it is and get out as compassionately as possible.

There is no judgement as the complexity of a relationship can mean that it will hit challenges. The idea is to look at things from a different perspective to see if there is any need for change, whether that be yourself or both.

People Can Change 

Firstly, you need to be able to identify what you want to change first. What you are unable to do, though, is just snap your fingers and say goodbye to well-established patterns, even when those patterns result in bad consequences. No one can change just because someone (even ourselves) wants us to.

It is a process that begins with being aware. This may seem obvious, but it is not. If you are used to blaming everyone else for your problems, then you are not aware. If you are living your life in a daze, blaming it on bad luck, then you are in denial.

How will you ever change anything if you do not own up to how you are thinking and that your behaviour is helping create the predicament you are in?


About The Author

Alison Blackler is an experienced Mind Coach and Therapist, Public Speaker and Published Author.  She had an extensive career in the NHS for 24 years, before starting her own business in 2010 called 2minds.

Alison works with individuals, team and leaders bringing the neuroscience to life in the sessions.  She believes that having an understanding of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours gives an opportunity to make changes. Alison’s own personal journey is an integral part of her work as she has lived and breathed many changes and through her training and experiences, she has developed a unique and relatable message.

She enjoys working alongside business leaders and managers to change culture and create true engagement. She has a natural empathetic approach to challenges and is a skilled listener.

She is a published author of a series of psychology-based self-help books – A Path Travelled. One of these is focused on how to make sense of relationships. In May 2023, she is launching a brand new podcast – watch this space!

You can check out her website or follow on Instagram @alison2minds

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