Don’t live a Life of Catch 22

Couple watching the sunset

How to create room for BOTH

Both what? What on earth does that mean? Many times individuals, couples, or families will find they are fighting to choose a side. The context can be different every time.

Who is right here?

What is the real truth?

Should I love them or be upset with them?

Why I am I always giving in?

Compromise feels more like they won.

Relationships won’t work when you are consistently facing these questions and forcing yourself, or others, to choose a side.  We are not one dimensional human beings.  Everything about us is complex – from our respiratory system to our thought process to the roles we fulfill on a daily basis. Why would it be healthy then to respond to our environment with such a black and white approach?

When you find yourself fighting from a boxed in and well defended corner, you have immediately lost the opportunity for growth and closeness. 

This is clear to see in relationships.  We can all picture the last or the most significant conflict we have encountered with someone we love.  

Did it end well? Was each person able to express their side AND listen to the other side? Were you able to clearly articulate what was ok for you and what wasn’t?


Did you scream and yell? Did you shut down? Did you act like nothing happened in the following days? Did you feel awful?

What feels better for you?

Coming from an individual perspective, it may not be as obvious but you probably can relate. 

Did you allow yourself to be upset with someone you love? Did you clearly tell another where your limits and boundaries lie? Did you feel positive about being genuine and honest in your communication?


Do you hold it all in? Do you avoid conflict at every cost? Do you feel guilty and shameful for expressing yourself? Is everything your fault?

Creating room for BOTH refers to you being your most genuine and authentic self every minute of the day. Be kind and patient with yourself. Know you are a complex being who will experience an array of emotions. Accept that your loved ones are different than you. Understand that different does not mean bad.

Use the above healthy questions to guide you in creating a healthy life with fulfilling relationships.

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