Relationships – when your friends don't like your partner!
When your friends or relatives don't like the person you have chosen to with, what do you do?
Well, first of all, you are not alone! Many of us have been through the same experience. And many of us we have found ourselves not liking the partners that our friends have chosen.
So what can you do?
Most important, you need to know why! Don't just respond by dismissing your friends' concerns. Try to find out what it is about your partner that bothers them.
- Are they feeling left out and neglected?
- Are they afraid that your relationship with your partner will have a big effect on your relationship you have with them?
- Are they feeling feeling confused and neglected, because you are making much less time for them.
- If they are alone, or in an unhappy relationship, is your happiness with your partner painful for them to bear.
You won't know until you talk to them. But you do need to find out where the dislike is coming from and that will help you to know how to respond to it.
If the dislike is about your neglect or their pain, then you need to provide reassurance and support. But you need to make clear how important the relationship with your partner is for you and it helps if you can share with them why.
Sometimes friends may be concerned for you in a new relationship.
If your partner has a different set of values or makes very different life style choices to those you have made in the past, your friends may be concerned about the possible effect on your health and happiness.
Do your friends believe your partner to be overly controlling or demanding?
If your friends think the relationship is not good for you, consider what they say. Is there evidence for their beliefs or have they misunderstood something. If there is evidence for their worries then think very carefully what is the right thing for you.
If, you value the friendship and you think they have misunderstood something, then you need to explain why this relationship is good for you. They have a right to their opinion but if you cannot change it , you do have the right to ask them not to share it—especially if you do not agree with them.
Friends should be able to disagree comfortably. Friends put loyalty, responsibility, and trust above feelings of jealousy or temporary neglect. But you do need honesty and openness between you. You should be able to talk to a friend about personal feelings in any given situation without facing criticism. But it is always wise to listen to advice when it is well-meant. If you cannot be honest and open, then you should probably think about the real value of the friendship.
Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level while having a life outside work. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR. She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at email@example.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com
Email Wendy now at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype