Stop The Blame Game
Our relationships can teach us many valuable lessons about ourselves that we can use to help us grow into happier and more loving people. This is turn will do wonders for our relationships.
There are a few important things to understand before we can do this. First, it’s never about the other person; it’s always about us. Secondly, we can’t change the other person; we can only change how we respond and feel towards them. And thirdly, the other party is simply being himself or herself. If something they’re doing or saying is making us upset, it really points to some unresolved issue or insecurity within us that we haven’t managed to overcome.
If someone is pressing your buttons, think about why it’s making you upset. Is that person intentionally trying to upset you? Most of the time, they’re not. They’re just being themselves. But if you’re choosing to feel upset, it says something about some past experience or issue that you should be examining more closely. For example, if you’re frustrated by someone’s nonchalant attitude towards something you feel requires urgent attention, it might point to difficult times in your childhood when being more disciplined meant avoiding much struggle. Or if you’re being stressed by the other party’s constant authoritative attitude, it could point to a childhood consistently oppressed by a domineering parent. Whatever it may be, it’s got nothing to do with the other person; this is an issue that you need to resolve yourself.
If you feel for instance that the other person “never listens to you” or “always acts like a child”, ask yourself “Is it really true?” We love inflating our egos or justifying our frustrations by painting the other person’s actions in absolute terms. But when we challenge that perceived reality, we’ll come to realise that most of the time, our assumptions aren’t true at all.
If you feel you should voice your opinion, by all means do so, but we should realise that beyond that, there’s really nothing else we can do. Constantly compelling the other party simply strains the relationship. If you really can’t moderate your response to the other person, and you’re not benefitting at all from the relationship, perhaps it’s simply time to move on.