Even if you’ve not watched the latest season of Netflix’s sci-fi series, Stranger Things, you’ve probably heard the 1985 hit, “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” while scrolling through your Tik Tok FYP. This song by Kate Bush has been revived after 35 years, exploding on the charts globally after being featured in a powerfully emotional scene featuring one of the main characters, Max Mayfield, in Season 4. But did you know that this song hides a deeper message?
The lyrics, accompanied by a distinctively 80’s synth and glorious pulsating drumbeat, go:
If I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap out places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
If I only could, oh
Kate Bush has shared in an interview that the lyrics depict a relationship between a man and a woman who love each other very much, but due to the power of the relationship getting in the way, are dealing with their insecurities. It begs the question if the two could change places, would they finally understand each other. Perhaps the “little problems” would be no problem at all.
Is a deal with a spiritual being the only solution to working through our relationship problems, whether romantic or platonic? Here are some ways to deal with misunderstandings and build stronger connections with the people we care about.
Create a Habit of Healthy Coping Mechanisms in Good Times
It’s easy for us to just indulge in the best times with people we love and think it will last forever. However, good times, when everything feels light, are when we can start building strong foundations. This is the perfect time to create good healthy habits and coping mechanisms!
1.Take some time to start understanding loved ones
Not everyone gives and receives love the same way we do! Understanding our loved ones through their love language helps us view the world through our partner’s or friends’ lens.
2. Put into practice having caring conversations
Effectively communicating can be tricky. Whether we’re feeling sensitive or if our friend or partner is going through a hard time, learning what appropriate responses, questions to ask, and understanding techniques on how to mirror them and build rapport, can create safer, more caring conversations that are free of judgment.
3. Create your own self-care plan
Self-care helps us feel better through a mix of self-awareness and self-management. So even if things aren’t going as planned, or a bad day comes along, we can find better ways to cope in more positive ways instead of relying on negative ones. While self-care is a big buzzword, it’s not always just about eating a bunch of Eggos when you’re stressed (like Eleven does).
Have an Emergency Plan for Rough Times
Rough times feel like they’ll never end, but the reality is that they do. Having an emergency plan for these rocky periods can help us deal with all the emotions that come to the surface, learn to bounce back from our mistakes, and ride through these storms safely.
1. Figure out what you’re feeling
To cope better with your feelings, you’ll need to first figure out how you’re feeling. Is it anger, envy, or disappointment? Start recognising why you’re feeling this way and learn what to do about them.
2. Manage bad thoughts coming from disagreements
Upsetting and confusing disagreements with people we love and care a lot for may trigger some bad thoughts that replay in our minds over and over. But we can stop them when we manage our emotions, behaviour, and because it’s all linked… our thoughts!
3. Learn to practice self-forgiveness
There are times when we are faced with guilt and shame over doing something wrong. We might be tempted to condemn ourselves for what we did. Self-forgiveness is an act of taking responsibility for our failures and working on doing better next time. Learn how to process what happened, forgive yourself, ask for forgiveness, and keep working on being a better version of yourself.
Let’s just say, all friendships and relationships will always come with its fair share of challenges, but building an understanding between us and the people we love requires more than just a Freaky Friday body swap. We’ll need a plan for how we respond good times and bad and we’ll be okay no matter what happens.