How often have you felt misunderstood or judged – and felt frustrated, hurt or defensive about what someone has said to you or about you?
I hear it from people all the time. Especially in relationships, there is so much we either try our best to communicate to our partners, but still may not feel we’ve been heard or perhaps the other person maintains their original point of view that we believe is not true. When we work with couples in our CouplesCourse Program, this is a common area of discomfort. Essentially, the important point is that we cannot change another person or their perspectives unless they choose to change it. We can’t make them believe what we believe. And the desire on our part may be for the other person to agree with us – and if they don’t, WE MAY BELIEVE THAT’S BAD FOR US. So if you’re doing a Son-Rise Program, your partner may not agree with you or support you the way you want to be supported, or you may have relatives that think you should be doing something else, or may not understand. The trick is to let go of “needing” others to understand, agree or accept us. Whew! That’s a biggie!
But imagine we can decide to have the perspective that, whatever the other person is doing, is actually happening to help us learn to be stronger, less needy, and more trusting of our own ideas and actions. Wouldn’t that feel a lot better than the frustration and hurt?!
But what is the most productive, comfortable place for us to be in ourselves when this occurs?
1) Understand that we don’t have the power to change anyone (our parents, our partners, our friends, and even our children) and if they DO change, (we may have spent time explaining, sharing, pleading) they still decided to change themselves; we didn’t make them change.
2) Use it as an opportunity to understand ourselves more, and supply to ourselves what we are looking to the other person to give us.
3) If it bothers us that we’re misunderstood or judged, then it’s important to explore that discomfort with questions like: “Why do I need this person to understand me or not judge me?” (May sound crazy, but it will probably relate to a way in which we are judging ourselves and looking to the other person to love/support us or be accepting of us – SO WE CAN ACCEPT AND LOVE OURSELVES.) Take a look. Could prove very eye-opening.
4) Know you don’t have to defend yourself nor feel something is wrong with you if you’re misunderstood, judged or maligned. It’s really about THE OTHER PERSON and the perspective(s) they choose FOR THEIR REASONS, which has nothing to do with you; they do it for their reasons (to take care of themselves).
5) First get comfortable about what they’re doing and how you’re feeling – and then, if there’s something to do to take care of yourself (e.g. try a different tact, talk to others about your perspective, brainstorm how you can use the situation to become a happier, more effective person, etc. – let us help you get through your situation by doing an Option Process Dialogue), and then comfortably go for it.
You don’t want your happiness and trust of life to be dependent on what another person does. There will always be those who make choices that appear to be against what you want. If, however, we use each one toward the enhancement of ourselves, we win (no matter what they do). Take the high road and welcome these people into your life – because they are the ones from which you will most likely learn the most.
With my love,