By Christine Murray, Healthy Relationships Initiative Director

Take time to reflect on the values that are important to you. How do you want to treat others? Most of us want to act with kindness and to be thought of as good-hearted people.

When someone else is treating you in a hurtful way, your first temptation may be to hurt them back. Try your best to resist this temptation. If you do say or do something that was hurtful, acknowledge it and apologize as soon as possible.

One of the reasons it is so hard to act kindly and admit mistakes when someone is hurting you is that you may think, “Why should I be nice to them, when they’re being so mean to me?” But, the truth is that acting in a kind way isn’t just for the other person–think of it instead as a gift you can give yourself.

You see, someday, you’re going to look back on this chaotic relationship situation, and I want you to look back and feel proud of yourself for staying true to your values and acting with kindness and integrity. If you sink down to their level, not only is it likely the situation will spiral further downward, but you also may regret things you’ve said and done.

To remember this principle during relationship chaos, consider saying the following affirmation: “No matter what the other person does to me, I choose to act with kindness and integrity.”

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