Dealing with a stressful relationship?

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Here’s today’s question: I’m dealing with a really stressful relationship with someone close to me. Do you have any advice on what to do when someone just keeps getting under your skin?

Well first of all, who can’t relate to this one? Stress is an inevitable part of daily life, but when it manifests through a person, it tends to bring with it a whole host of other emotions—anger, frustration, blame, hopelessness, and feeling stuck in a cycle.

But Buddhism does offer some great perspectives on relationships like this. Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda writes:

Our human relationships are like a mirror. So if you’re thinking to yourself, “If only so-and-so were a little nicer to me, I could talk to them about anything,” then that person is probably thinking, “If only such-and-such would open up to me, I would be nicer to them.” ... Therefore, you should make the first move to open the channels of communication.

Discussions on Youth, p. 40

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