If you’ve read many of my blogs or emails, I’m sure you’ve noticed that they primarily talk about personal work and how that resolves conflicts in relationships.
If you’re like most people, at some point you’ve wondered why I don’t talk about what to do if your boss is a jerk, your wife is a nag, or your parents are unbearable. Why is it always about working on you instead of doing something about them?
Sometimes people are jerks, nag when there’s no need for it, and behave in unbearable ways.
The reason I don’t talk about what to do when other people behave in inconsiderate to mean ways is that you can’t change someone else’s behaviour.
The only person you have control over in this life is you and thinking otherwise is simply fooling yourself.
You might influence people or behave in a way that changes their reaction to you, but there is no certainty in trying to do either thing.
You control your choices and behavior. That’s a certainty.
You can’t control anyone else, and they can’t control you.
What You Can Do
Take an honest look at the situation and your reaction to it. You’re making a judgment about the other person. Why?
What happens if you stop listening to the judgmental voice in your head?
- Would it change your feelings about things?
- Would it affect how you spend your time in the minutes and hours following the behavior you were judging?
Where did you learn the judgment, and is the voice in your head that’s delivering the judging comments your own? If not, whose voice is it? Parents, teachers, family, and friends all influenced your beliefs, so the judgment might not even be yours.
Is the behaviour that you’re judging something you do and don’t like?
What if you looked at things from the other person’s perspective? What if you honestly worked to understand why they’re behaving the way they are?
If you want something to change, the things you have control over include:
- Your thoughts
- How long you let someone else’s behaviour bother you, if at all
- If you stay or leave
- Your reaction
- What you learn from your response to other people
Learning to let go of judgment while choosing your reactions and behaviour results in great peace in your life. It means less time spent in anger and more time spent getting on with life.
I help people bring to life what they admire, aspire to, and hold dear while helping them walk through fear and limitation with strength, knowledge, and grace.
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