Connecting and getting on with others is an important part of life. Having a brain injury and chronic pain can change the way you get along with others. It can be helpful to look at how your relationships are going and if needed make a plan to get them back on track.
Be a coach
There are lots of changes that might happen to you after your brain injury, such as the way you behave, think, feel and move. Having chronic pain changes things too. It helps if the people in your life understand these changes and your recovery. Find ways to let them know what you can do right now and how you work within your limits. Teach them about chronic pain, why you need to do things differently and how they can help you to manage your pain. Coach them to understand why you need to take breaks and pace yourself. This makes it easier for them to support you. If you find it difficult to talk about this with others, ask a trusted family member, friend or healthcare worker to help you have these talks.
The little things count
Improving your relationships does not mean that you must change everything. But you can make a few small changes, and if you do these enough it can make a big difference over time.
You have different kinds of relationships with different people. Take a look at the Repairing my relationship guide to read tips about repairing your relationships with spouses and intimate partners, children and friends. Then take the time to use the tools to make a plan using the My plan to repair relationships and learn to Be Pain Smart.