I find that when something is hard, or challenging, you just keep at it until you surrender. And usually the surrender is the giving up of meaning (any meaning or labeling you are attaching to it: to them, to you, to the situation, to the conversation, to the moment, etc.).
After you surrender, the thinking stops, the struggle disappears, & everything just is. Whatever it was that you were resisting, has now become perfectly acceptable — perfect for this moment. Everything becomes quite simple & easy suddenly.
That being said, in the beginning, as you resist what you think is happening — it’s really tough. Especially if you have a past with the person, place or thing that you are having trouble relating to. Let’s use family as an example. Most conversations with family members come with topics based on the past that are like trauma triggers. Or maybe even the sight of certain family members induce negative feelings related to past trauma.
Anyone that has experienced something hurtful, or something traumatic, will do whatever it takes to defend or protect themselves, to remove themselves from the situation, or to simply to avoid it altogether. This is a normal & common defense based on not wanting the past to be repeated.
But the truth is, at the present moment, we aren’t our bodies that experienced trauma years ago, or our thoughts about what happened — bodies change over time, thoughts come & go. But our soul, our essence, our energy, the love that we are — that stays the same. And if we can relate to other people through unlabeled energy, through spirit, or through formless love — we should be able to relate to anyone. Relating to people would be so easy, like they were our soul twin or a perfect reflection of our true selves. Just effortless connectedness at it’s core.
When someone has trouble relating to people, it’s usually based on the past (e.g., things learned, seen, or experienced, as well as manipulative media programming). And because of this, people are viewed from a severely limited & debilitating angle: how they look, what they do, what they say. This is a sure way to feel separate from people & to sever the possibility of genuine relatedness.
The job of the person that wants to be free & relate to others (or anything) effortlessly, is to let that go. Let the past go, let what was temporary go, & begin to relate from the truth of the present moment. One spirit or energy or love, relating to another one, as an equal.
Until someone can do that, until they can connect with people in an effortless way, even the suffering one endures in the meantime is perfect. Because the challenge, or the suffering, is a valuable teaching. Returning to the family example: one’s family (or ex-spouse, boss, ex-partner, neighbor, patrolman, heckler, competitor) becomes their guru. Their family (or that person) becomes their greatest teacher, or even their greatest lover. Through that difficult relationship, one learns the truth — one learns how to love.