Leanne Chapman Psychology

[ Guidance for the wounded soul ]

Five Steps To Letting Go Of What’s Not Working In Your Relationships

Five Steps To…

Letting Go Of What’s Not Working In Your Relationships

Step 1: Focus on what you want

We all have different ideas about what a great relationship or friendship involves, but chances are if you ask someone what they want in a relationship, they’ll end up telling you what they DON’T want.  We don’t want to be taken for granted, we don’t want to be yelled at, we don’t want to be take advantage of, etc.

In order to let go of what’s not working, we need to focus on what we DO want instead. It’s hard to let go of something, even if it’s not working, when we don’t know what to put in its place.

Write down a short list of non-negotiables that you want and need in your relationships, and look for people who can offer this.


Step 2: Focus on what’s already working

Often we’re so focused on what we still don’t have or what hasn’t worked out for us that we overlook what we already DO have.

Maybe your partner still forgets to take the bin out, stays out too late with his friends on Friday night, and forgets your anniversary. But if he does most of the cooking, supports your dreams and makes you laugh, you have something to be grateful for.

When we focus so much on what we don’t have, we don’t get to enjoy what’s already here for us. Try telling your partner, family members and friends one thing each week that you’re grateful to them for.


mind-readingStep 3:  Stop being a mind reader

Sometimes we think we know someone so well that we can tell exactly what they’re thinking or why they did something. We might even be right some of the time, but a lot of the time we’ll be wrong. Being very familiar with someone doesn’t give us the ability to read their minds, it just makes us more likely to think we can.

If you want to know what your partner, friend or family member is thinking, ask them.


Step 4: Stop expecting others to read your mind

Most people are focused on themselves, their work, their kids, the traffic, the bills and a hundred other things. It doesn’t mean you’re not a priority if they don’t pick up on what you’re thinking or feeling, but just as you can’t read minds, neither can they.

Don’t drop hints. Stop thinking ‘if they really knew me, they’d know how I felt’. Say what you mean. Ask for what you want. Be clear and direct.


Step 5: Notice the good things

We’re so quick to notice and point out the things that annoy us. We use shoulds and oughts and judge the behaviour of others by our own frame of reference. Too much of this can be a real downer on relationships.

Share the good stuff too. Tell your partner how grateful you are that she hung the washing out, let your friends know what a difference their support meant when you were sick, thank your siblings for being such a great help with your kids.

People remember how we make them feel. Help them to feel good about themselves and that’s what they’ll remember when they think about spending time with you.


If these tips were helpful, please share them with your family and friends so they can benefit too.

These five steps are only the beginning!  Empower yourself further with the 10 day Truth program. Discover your unique expression and share it with the world.

Image courtesy of news.com.au

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  1. Leanne, right on the money. #4: wanting your mind read, wanting your needs met without ever having to express them. It’s what I learned from my bitter unexpressed and very unhappy mother, and has taken a boatload of work to release.

    So worth it, though. My relationships are so different, and so much more enjoyable, when I actually participate in them!

    Love and light,
    Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest) recently posted…Full Moon Lunar Eclipse—time to get moving, ready or not!My Profile

  2. 5 great points
    I love No 4- i often expect that people can read my mind LOL and no 2 is so important- do what is working and follow through thanks for the reminders
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…A Day for Me To Just BeMy Profile

  3. I have the hardest time with “3. Stop being a mind reader,” though it’s a little different. Sometimes the people I know just assume that I already know what they think. They’ll even say things like, “I don’t have to tell you. Aren’t you psychic?”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or sigh, but at least I have an easy out. 🙂
    Amethyst Mahoney recently posted…How to Take Your FingerprintsMy Profile

  4. Hi Leanne, This is my first time to your site and I love the pearl, the treasure!

    I appreciate your reminder of paying attention to what IS going well and what we Do have to be grateful for that’s working in a relationship. While I Know that my partner can never satisfy All my needs/wants in life, sometimes I, well, kinda forget and get some high expectations going sometimes. When I remember that it’s My responsibility to be aware of what I need/want, I also remember to be realistic about what his strengths and contributions are to the relationship.
    Shawn Tuttle recently posted…The Simplifying Wave Is CrestingMy Profile

    • Leanne Chapman

      May 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Hi Shawn, glad to have you drop by 🙂 It is hard to be aware all the time but reminding ourselves from time to time can get us into the habit of taking responsibility for our own needs more often. Sounds like you’re on the right track!

  5. So true Leanne – it’s amazing how often people just expect telepathic communication! If you’ve got a problem, communicate! x
    Donna recently posted…Dreams To Reality QuestionsMy Profile

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