Sometimes life feels like a video game. You can’t go to the next level without passing the current level, and until you pass that level, you come across similar types of characters. Even if the appearance of these characters may change, they hit you in the same spot and always hurt you in a similar way.
Things get even more complicated when you generalize whatever hurts you: As in “All men, women, bosses are alike.” However, you were the one who chose them among many others. You were the one who decided to continue the path with them.
Until you discover this important and delicate point and jump over your current level, you keep playing with similar types of characters. That is, until you find the thing that you have overlooked and begin correcting it. If, among all this sameness, you are now willing to say hello to the new, then here’s a few things you can do:
Change your reactions. Whenever you recognize you are getting angry with someone, do something you have never done before when in a similar situation. For example, go ahead and brush your teeth. Consequently, you break the cycle that repeats itself and quit giving automatic responses. You will be the one who manages your reactions vs. your reactions managing you.
Take a look at what you can do differently about communication. Every negative feeling occurs as a result of an unsatisfied need. Let’s say you became very angry; ask yourself: What do I really need? What is my unsatisfied need that causes my anger? Share your answer with the person you got angry with. For instance, “I needed this and when it was unsatisfied, I felt angry about your behavior.” Afterwards, fulfill this need.
Clean up the accumulated sorrow and anger brought from your previous relationships. If you don’t take care of this step, every event in your life will resemble the one that had wounded you, and you will continue to give automatic reactions. Don’t expect your life to change before you clean up the accumulated weight from your past.
Look at the events from a broader framework. Don’t take things personally. Remember that the big-picture events have a meaning that you don’t recognize at this very moment. Consider that the conflict at this moment will have no meaning in ten years’ time. Ask yourself: “What does this situation teach me; what lessons can I draw from this event?”
Don’t make assumptions. “He didn’t bring me flowers; thus, he doesn’t love me.” Try to find out and understand why he didn’t bring flowers.
Whatever you expect, don’t wait; offer it first. If you expect attention, give attention; if you want understanding, then give understanding. In other words, whatever it is you want, create it first in yourself.
Once you’ve finished reading this article, don’t start your words with “It is easier said, but…” Read the article one more time, and even if they may be really small, take a look at what you can change.