Relationship Re-frame: 4 Fresh Tools
The way we relate to relationships is VERY INTERESTING
And it’s worth a look, since our lives are FULL of relationships that lift our moods up, or drag them down, all day long.
We feel happy when our relationships are harmonious, when people do and say things we like, when the vibe is easy and agreeable.
But when people are late, messy, flaky, uptight, unsupportive or otherwise unpleasant, we get mad, irritated, impatient. It puts us in a bad mood.
Our PARTNER is a slob, our FRIEND is a flake, our NEIGHBOR is always rude, our BOSS is a jackass. And we think that if THEY would just STOP IT we wouldn’t be so agitated, irked, frazzled.
BUT IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT
Because whatever WE think or feel about our boss, partner, neighbor, president is a mental event that lives in our own minds – nowhere else.
And since our mind is the common denominator in all our relationships, what happens in one relationship, doesn’t stay in one relationship (it’s not like Vegas!) What we do in one of them, we do in all.
And that’s really good news, because we can change the whole movie.
I’m not saying people always behave well. People often don’t.
I am sure you can find someone who will agree that your boss is a jackass, your partner is lame, or that others are lazy, toxic, unfriendly, intolerable.
But we’re not here to work on other people’s shortcomings, blindspots or habits. We have enough of our own!
We actually owe a big thanks to those who frustrate us, push our buttons, make our blood boil.
Why? Because THEY are the ones that give us the most important opportunity to widen our minds, stretch our patience, become more resilient, more loving, more kind, more noble.
They are our medicine, our catalyzer, our teacher, our saving grace.
So try these these 4 RELATIONSHIP CLEANSERS
They will improve your mental state, transform the way you interact, and bring a breath of fresh air to your life.
1. NO POINTING FINGERS
I know you don’t want to keep nagging your partner, getting angry with people who are perpetually late, or hating people who are narrow-minded. It doesn’t feel good. It drains your heart.
Want a much better approach? As soon as you notice that you focusing on people doing the same annoying things they always do, just zoom out and remember how beautifully neurotic we all are.
The more we point the finger, the less we grow. So give up on trying to teach them a lesson, and instead just be thankful that people put up with you in those moments when you are inflexible or thoughtless or irresponsible or clumsy or ignorant – or otherwise human!
2. WATCH YOUR MOUTH
We get ourselves into so much trouble with these busy mouths. So much time spent talking about nothing, gossiping, complaining, evaluating others, self-promoting, romanticizing about the past.
We often forget that our words are very VERY powerful. They shape our experience, feed our minds, condition our emotions, and determine the actions we take.
Here are some mouth refreshers:
☞ T.H.I.N.K. before you speak. Is what you are about to say True? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind? People remember what we say. Our speech should be as loving, honest and kind as possible.
☞ Quit gossiping. Period. Find another way to connect. Talking smack makes us paranoid and hangs over our character like a dark cloud. Total waste of time!
☞ Bite your tongue when angry or triggered. Breathe and let the emotion pass. It will keep you regret free – and will also rewire your emotional chemistry so the same trigger doesn’t keep getting reactivated.
☞ Do a complaining detox. One full week – not even about the weather! Complaining makes life dull and colorless. It makes our complaints come true 😱 The idea is not to do it perfectly – just notice the habit. It will weaken on its own.
☞ Listen with big, loving ears as much as possible. Listening keeps us out of trouble and is an utterly noble and generous act. It’s like a giant human anti-depressant.
3. LOOK WITH OPEN EYES
What often get so caught up in emotion and insecurity that we don’t really see other people – even those closest to us. We get lost in comparison, we get defensive, we feel judged so we judge back. Our filters are so damn thick.
So we need to learn to re-see humans – by pointing our eyes, hearts and minds on their luminous beauty inside and recognizing that they are utterly human – with struggles + insecurities, confusion + anxiety, desires + aspirations.
Whether we are on the street, at the kitchen table, or in a meeting, we can just shift and choose this way of seeing whoever is in front of us – whether we like them or not, or know them or not. This alone is capable of dissolving enemies, conflicts, resentments, grudges, bad blood and hate.
4. DROP YOUR SIDE OF THE ARGUMENT
It’s so easy to get stuck in a verbal, emotional or psychic brawl with someone. We get so stuck on our own point of view that we forget that there’s another whole point of view in the equation. The other human has his or her own perspective, background, emotional makeup, set of beliefs and needs and desires.
So who’s more important? You think YOU are, and they think THEY are. The only way out of this fruitless emotional tug-of-war is to DECIDE to be the one let go, to exit the ring, to quit trying to teach a lesson, to be humble.
But don’t do with a passive-aggressive roll of the eyeballs! That’s even worse. Just decide to choose peace over some silly mental wrestling match, and let your ego dissolve like sugar in warm water. Your mind will relax, your heart will open and your relationship will flourish.
Seem like a tall order? That’s because it is! But we need to raise the bar way up if we want our relationships to nourish us, strengthen us, be a source of joy.
Keep on keeping on ❤︎