On two different occasions this week I've dispensed some adult-level advice regarding other people's relationships. It's been forcing me to have to reset myself on a lot of the drama I've been dealing with unnecessarily. Here's are the life lessons I need to recommit myself to that I shared with others:
- You are in control of your life and choose to feel the way you feel. If someones "makes" you angry/sad, it's not their fault; there is something within you left unresolved that is triggering your emotional response. Figure out what that trigger is and ask yourself, "Why do I feel this way?" when that button is pushed. Dig deeply into your past and try to remember the first time you've felt like that. Then work on processing through that unresolved issue.
This one is very difficult for me because I want to control everybody and everything. When I get upset with someone over a button they have pushed, I want to lash back and prove to (read that as hurt) them they're wrong and I'm right. This week I've had to put into practice this very concept. Someone hit one of the biggest buttons I own (I'm leaving out the details on purpose). I got snippy with them and I was seeing red for hours afterwards. I couldn't let it go. I then asked myself, "Why am I so angry? Why am I acting like such a fool?" I ended up apologizing to that person for getting angry with them. It wasn't their fault I was angry - I chose to be that way. Fifteen minutes after apologizing, I felt a lot better.
- The best way to change someone else's behavior is to change your own. Think about your negative reaction to what someone says/does to you. Is there a better, more positive way to react to it? Can you forgive them for their trespass on your emotional well-being? Is there a pattern of button pushing going on? Identify those buttons and process different ways of reacting to it. If they continue to push those button, there's an issue the other needs to deal with for which you have no ownership over.
- Operate out of love not fear. Keep a bigger picture of in mind of what will make you happy and work with that person to achieve that goal. Everything that you say and do should be to achieve your goal - not to turn around and hurt that person
In the anecdote above, I was afraid that I was being ignored by that other person and it was a direct reflection of who I am as a person. That's why I got so angry with them over something so trivial. Once I realized that I was projecting my insecurities on them, I realized I was wrong and had to apologize to them. in fact, I should've called them and thanked them for showing me I had an issue to work on ;-).