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How to be Emotionally Tough in Your Relationships

Aug 17, 2007
I have a weird way of holding my pencil. Just about all my school teachers have attempted to change my pencil grip yet I refused to change. I was stubborn and stuck in my habitual ways. Maybe that is why my handwriting is still messy ;).

As I do now, like in school, I grip the pencil awkwardly. My thumb is perpendicular to the pencil and my index finger runs directly down the pencil. This left the pencil to rest against the last knuckle of my middle finger.

When I did a lot of writing, my awkward grip would cause the pencil to rub against the edge of this middle finger's knuckle thus making it sore. However, the more writing I did, the harder the skin would become and the less easily irritated it would get from its constant rubbing against the pencil. A callus eventually formed.

When you wear a poorly fit shoe, it hurts as your foot rubs against the shoe. Yet when you continually wear the poorly fit shoe, the sensitiveness and pain eventually subside as your body creates hardened skin.

Human nature gave us the same emotional characteristics as these physical characteristics. We get hurt from a new type of pain or intensity of pain that we have never experienced before. From this hurtful experience, our minds create an "emotional callus" that "harden us".

The next time we experience a similar painful event, we are less sensitive to what takes place and are more competent to handle the emotional pain. Wouldn't it be nice though to not have to experience such pain? Well, you can.

There are some psychological aspects you can change to toughen yourself up. Unless you want to join a boot camp with me yelling at you all day here is two quick techniques that you can use to develop emotional calluses so that you do not become filled with bitterness, resentment, and other feelings of ill-will that are common in those who do not forgive people. The emotional calluses will allow you to move on more easily instead of dwelling on the past as all types of resentment involve resisting the past.

The first one is becoming more self-reliant. Stop being dependent upon other people to make you feel a certain way. A person cannot hurt you unless you give them power to. You must take responsibility for how you feel, think, and act. In doing so, you will become more "hardened" and not as susceptible to little or big problems you would once dwell upon.

The second technique is to stop acting so small. Stop letting the little things emotionally eat you up. The people who so often whine and complain over little problems being "so bad", not only have a low self-esteem, but they have troubles in forgiving others because they frequently feel victimized. The world becomes "unfair" as they "always" feel they are picked on.

You can drastically reduce the resistance when forgiving others by developing a habit of being to big for petty problems. It is far easier to forgive another over something you feel they have not taken from you if you become bigger than the problem.
About the Author
Joshua Uebergang writes about effective relationship skills at his website EarthlingCommunication.com. He has a free newsletter you can sign-up for and you'll receive a bonus communication skills report!
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