Lifted Book Study | Week 4, Chapter 9

Is it time for a relationship reset?

In the intro video this week, Lindsey comments about how easy it is to bond with people over negative experiences. You know the adage: Misery loves company. That’s what makes complaining about your husband, your boss, your kids, or your life with others such an easy way to connect with people. But that isn’t the best way to build a strong, positive relationship.

If your relationship with someone is dragging you down, the reality is you may not be able to simply sever ties. You may need to stay in touch or interact with that person regularly. If that’s the case, you may need to set or reset some boundaries. If you’re lucky, the relationship just may change for the better. And even if the other person doesn’t change, you will change in ways that make you a healthier and happier person.

Here are a few steps to take when you know something needs to change in one or more of your relationships:

Start with prayer. Lindsey writes, “I started with simple prayers, not big, beautiful, thought-out prayers—just tiny cries of my heart any time I felt the effects of the poison our relationship had left behind.”

Talk with your friend about how you feel. If your friend consistently says or does something that hurts you, let her know. It could be that she doesn’t realize that her words or behavior is hurtful.

Change the conversation. Refuse to gossip. Just stop it! If your friend wants to bash someone, do not fuel the fire. You may feel brave enough to say something like, “I really don’t’ want to talk about so-and-so behind her back.” Or you may just want to say something nice about the person your friend is badmouthing.  Or just ignore the negative comment and abruptly change the topic.

Be the kind of friend you would like to have. Even if your so-called friend’s behavior doesn’t change, you can choose to live with integrity. Use the tips from Chapter 8 to find new friends who challenge you to be the kind of person you want to be.

Standing up for yourself in relationships isn’t always easy, but it is necessary. Let us know what other thoughts or ideas this chapter brings to mind.