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Name: Robin
Age: 30
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Re: Addressing a concern with a trainer - April 30th 2017, 04:59 AM

Hey there!

Well, I'm glad to see Bentley has been making great progress! Sounds like the trainer is worth the time, effort, and money. =) Unfortunately, it also sounds like your cousin is undermining some of that hard work. Either they don't realize what they're doing, or they aren't willing to accept what you're saying (possibly more of the latter from what you're describing).

The trainer may be willing to say something to your cousin, but they may also want to avoid triangulation. If you're not familiar with that term, triangulation occurs when Person A struggles with talking to Person B, so they pull Person C into the situation and try to get Person C to do the communicating for them. I know having Person C (trainer) talk to Person B (cousin) may seem like a good solution (because your cousin may listen to the trainer), but I think there's a bigger issue here... and it's that you don't have effective communication with your cousin.

In the short-term, you could certainly ask the trainer if they'd be willing to provide a bit of feedback to your cousin, but in the long-term, I'd suggest looking at ways to improve communication with your cousin so triangulation doesn't continue to happen with different people in different situations. There are a lot of great communication strategies out there... I like the Speaker Listener technique. It was developed for couples, but I don't see why it can't be used between family members and friends as well!

Of course, one of the keys to effective communication is that both people be willing to listen. You could talk until you're blue in the face, but if your cousin isn't willing to listen, then it's going to be a waste of time. If that ends up being the case, then you may need to set firm boundaries with them, like asking them to not go to the training or go on walks with you, because whether your cousin is willing to accept it or not, they're undermining what you're trying to accomplish.

Hope that helps (and hope that didn't sound too lecture-y)!