How to Live and Work Together

Here’s another article in my recent series about how to go deal with the challenges of living together and working together during this crisis. I wrote this for partners, but it applies to families and friends, too.

I’m sharing some key skills I believe are central to a healthy relationship regardless of whether you and your partner see each other all the time, or whether you are both doing different jobs (in different rooms). These insights can be applied to any kind of collaboration: whether you are in a business and running a company with your partner or if you are running a home and a family together.

  1. Both of you must be willing to do your trauma work. Know what triggers and old wounds you are bringing to your relationship and acting out in your relationship. This is really the groundwork you need to lay before you can successfully relate to another person.
  2. Communicate early and often. Do you have a need or an issue? You are responsible for allowing resentments to build up inside of you. So, do yourself a favor and speak up if you have a need. Will your needs always be met? Probably not, or not immediately. But ask for what you want as an equal partner, not from a place of irritation (see the next point.)
  3. Regulate yourself. Another basic of healthy communication is being the master of your emotions and doing your best to minimize how irritation or anger affects the way you speak or act. Wait out your feelings, process them with a therapist, or use other coping techniques if you need to. Then, approach your partner from a place of balance and a deep pool of emotional tolerance.

Living with another person is hard, and living secluded from everyone else, with limited access to your usual activities is extra challenging. These tips will help you keep track of your emotional health, and will hopefully help you realize when you need to ask for additional help and lessen the impact on your partner or family.