Can a Life Coach Help with Relationships?

We build lives in a way that helps us manoeuvre around and away from past trauma, but relationships can bring up a lot since they are so close. We often pick people (unintentionally) romantically who make us connect to a role we played in childhood especially in dysfunctional, chaotic or traumatic home life. These relationships can retrigger or reactivate trauma, events or experiences that were frozen in time. They can ignite a familiar helplessness or anger which is, misplaced by you. It causes confusion and doubt because the person operating your life isn’t really the adult version of you but rather the wounded child.

Most people contact a life coach when they feel overwhelmed or stuck in an area of their life. The role of a life coach is to understand your present situation, collaborate with you, and to steer you to realise your potential, in one or more area of your life. Their aim is to grow your self-awareness so you can identify the patterns of feeling, thoughts, and behaviours within you. Recognising your patterns may also reveal the everyday triggers causing you to react or respond in unhelpful ways.

Utilising techniques and tools such as NLP, Hypnosis, EMDR can create a shift in the intensity of the emotions. Approaching the issue when your emotions are within your window of tolerance is a sure way to navigate and progress forward.

A sign of a great life coach will be one who works to grow your self-efficacy, that is to teach you how and when to use mindset tools independently so you’re able to regulate your own emotions, long after your coaching programme ends.

Life Coaches tend to specialise in different areas, they might call themselves a career coach, relationship coach, business coach. Within the health space, there are many variations; weight loss coach, fitness coach, fertility coach, the specialisms are endless.

As a Transformation coach, the way I compartmentalise your life is using four quadrants:

For those feeling overwhelmed, I help you to funnel down to the priority area. It’s common for most of my clients to focus on ‘relationships’. The next consideration is which relationships are you wishing to work on. It could be family member, friends, partner or with someone at work.

Relationship is a very interesting area to delve into. As social creatures, we want connection and relationships. Dysfunction within a relationship helps us to recognise when our sensitivities, boundaries, and tolerance are being violated.

The reactions you’re having now in the present moment were most likely created in the past. Our reactions are usually a way we learned to protect ourselves or witnessed relationships being acted out. Our reactions are clues of unresolved or unprocessed pain from the past. The person or situation presently causing you to feel upset is usually triggering an unresolved wound from the past.

Your default may be to resent the person or the dynamic however if you’re able to, take a sacred pause, refrain from reacting and instead ask yourself, “what about this is causing me to be so upset?”

Example – a colleague or boss at work in a position of authority is behaving in a manner that causes you to feel undermined. You’re sensitive to this because in the past an authority figure such as a teacher, parent or sibling behaved in a way that caused you feel less than, they undermined you or your capability in some way. Perhaps you were overlooked or simply not given the amount of attention you desired. It’s possible, during childhood, positive intentions were present but for you it felt like tough love. In your young mind, the impression formed was, people in positions of authority undermine my capability or they can’t see how hard I work. The imprint was made and until this messaging is understood, uncreated and reprocessed, your mind looks for ways to confirm this bias at every opportunity. Even if it’s negative and holds you back. As an adult you find yourself triggered. Why? Because your mind’s sole purpose is for your survival. Any perceived threats are acted upon, old neural networks are reconnected and revived and before you know it, you’re reacting in a way that doesn’t align with you, you become fragmented.

Identifying the relationship, what it means to you, the cultural context, the power dynamic, your attachment style are all relevant pieces of the jigsaw to understanding how and why you are affected, and to the extent you are. Your reactions (your thoughts, feelings and behaviours) towards the individual are usually a learned response from childhood. The reactions are a form of self-protection or learned helplessness. Your own reaction (to this individual) could be adding to your distress since you may not approve of yourself when you react in certain ways. You feel upset knowing this person is able to ‘press your buttons’ and cause you to feel overwhelmed. You may also struggle with shame or guilt especially if your behaviours are disproportionate.

When you’re in the eye of the storm, when emotions are running high, it’s hard to navigate these times alone. Below are helpful steps for your consideration.

In the first instance, it’s useful to collect evidence of your perception of the mistreatment. Ask yourself, “is now a good time to keep a diary of the ways they behave or speak to me?”

Is there someone you can confide in, to sense-check with? Is it possible to create distance from this person? Do you feel confident enough to ask them to stop speaking or treating you this way?

Secondly, explore all the ways you can protect yourself from the person presently affecting you. You might find it useful to brainstorm with a trusted friend or to reach out to an objective or independent person through a charity such as Mind or Samaritans to talk things through with. If you feel you’re in danger, then it’s important for you to raise your concerns with the Police.

In some cases, it may be the absence of a relationship that is causing you to suffer. May be a relationship or friendship is ending or has ended. Coming to terms with loss is a struggle for everyone. In this case, speaking with a coach is very helpful, going through the grieving process and letting go in a healthy way will be beneficial. Perhaps you’ve been single for a long time and now for some reasons it’s all you can think about. You keen to get out there, but fear or something else is holding you back. A coach can help you to overcome your insecurities and amplify the thoughts, feelings and behaviours you wish to have on a consistent basis to begin dating or making new friends.

Romantic Relationships

In a romantic relationship, couples are usually attracted to each other because they admire the character of the person they are dating. They feel excited by their outlook and ability to be, in some ways, opposite to them and this can be thrilling to experience. You get to experience an alternative reality just by being with them. The troubles arise when the initial infatuating wears off and regular life begins. The exact characteristics you once admired start to cause you discomfort in ways you hadn’t foreseen. The niggles you could once ignored are now amplified.

Example – You meet someone who is very charismatic and outgoing, loves to party and has many friends of all ages and genders. You’re attracted to them. You’ve always been socially timid so being in a romantic relationship with them is exciting. You’re now going out for dinners, parties and all manner of social outings which is such fun! Six months later, you have a conversation about moving in together, it makes complete sense to you both, so you move in. Happy days! A year later, you begin to think about your future with this person, having a family or relocating for new opportunities. Your partner loves the sound of it all and agrees to the next steps for your relationship. You begin to make some plans because both of you will now need to make some compromises for these adjustments to happen. You adjust and compromise with ease since you are invested in the bigger picture and you’re happy to compromise. However, they struggle with adjusting and compromising but your supportive and give them time. Three years later, your relationship is stable, but you realise your partner still hasn’t adjusted their lifestyles to the extent you have. They still love going out all the time and you notice a growing resentment. You don’t feel, as a couple, you’re both progressing towards those hopes and dreams you once shared. It starts to make you question their level of commitment to your relationship and every time you see them prioritising fun, a part of you feels abandoned, foolish or confused.

We build lives in a way that helps us manoeuvre around and away from past trauma, but relationships can bring up a lot since they are so close. We often pick people (unintentionally) romantically who make us connect to a role we played in childhood especially in dysfunctional, chaotic or traumatic home life. These relationships can re-trigger or reactivate trauma, events or experiences that were frozen in time. They can ignite a familiar helplessness or anger which is, misplaced by you. It causes confusion and doubt because the person operating your life isn’t really the Adult version of you but rather the wounded child. The intensity of negative feelings is actually meant for your caregivers but instead you project it onto your romantic relationship. Two people coming together with unresolved emotional baggage will accidently hurt one another and prevent themselves from receiving fully, the love that’s available to them.

The Most Important Relationship

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have and therefore worthy of investing time and energy to improve it. We can never really influence others to change their behaviours. We can’t prevent them from deliberately or accidentally hurting us nor can we live in a protective bubble forever. We can block the hurt but we also risk blocking the love and joy available to us. The best way is, to heal our triggers as soon as we become aware of them. We do so, by honouring and accepting the ways we are triggered. By understanding our patterns of thought and behaviour and the ways they have a hold of us. We must learn ourselves, our own operating model and only then can we seek the ways in which we can heal, release and uncreate our unhealthy reactions.

This is the work a transformation coach or a life coach who is trauma informed can support you to heal through. The benefits will reverberate to every corner of your life. Every relationship will improve and where it’s necessary you’ll close the door with peace. You’ll gain a new balance in your life, approaching challenges without overwhelm and stress. You’ll trust your self, you’ll rely on your intuition and inner wisdom to guide you through life. Your energy will expand, and your potential will become much easier to access in real time. The absolute best thing about embarking on a coaching journey is 1) the benefits will continue to grow beyond your coaching journey and 2) touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with.

Many of my clients contact me six or twelve months later to drop me a line about the ways their lives, careers, finances and health have improved beyond their wildest dream. I want this for you and if you’re ready to want this for yourself then please reach out. Let’s get you onboarded.

Hi! I’m Roksana, a life coach for women based in St Albans, Hertfordshire. I run face to face and online coaching sessions via Zoom. I’m always happy to answer your questions around any of my methods or approaches. Long term changes begin with a guide who has walked a similar path, has a blueprint, will give you support and accountability every step of the way. If you’re interested to know more then please book a FREE call with me.

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