Monday, January 28, 2008

ANGER RISING

OOOPS I DID IT AGAIN...

It's not very often I get really and truly ANGRY. It really isn't. But just now, due to interaction with a site member - I felt my blood BOIL. I don't know, maybe it's not anger, maybe it's FRUSTRATION? All I do know is that I was shaking and that seldom happens.

You see, a woman came (returned) to the site this weekend with a story about her (rebound) relationship of six months and how it wasn't going the way SHE wanted it to. Well hey, we've all been there, haven't we? But something in the way she wrote made you think and truth be told there are times you can just see WHY isn't working. In fact, I bet everyone could see why but her.

This is the type of person who blames everyone and everything else for their misery. The sun for shining, the moon for setting, the dog for breathing, the parents, the kids, the partner,...but never once takes into account their role in it. We create all of our own dramas either consciously or unconsciously. So convinced are they they're "right" and everyone else is "wrong"...and I am a victim. No one listens to me. You're all judging me...That type of attitude.

Now I am writing this not to victimise her more but in hopes of helping someone else. I put my hand up, I don't always get it "right" in my efforts to help people (as proven in today's case) but my intentions are just about always honorable.

HOW TO ANNOY PEOPLE AND LOSE SITE MEMBERS

I am reminded of DALE CARNEGIE's "HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE" where he talks about someone, Abe Lincoln I think, who used to write these nasty, scathing letters - which thankfully never got sent because his wife always snuck them out of the pile before posting them...

Well today I decided to vent my own nasty, scathing note. I didn't reply with this...but I did write the following to get get it out of my system - again proving I am HUMAN...I don't always get it "right" as it were:

"Dr. Phil has a saying "you either get it or you don't" and I feel you don't get it! You don't get how your attitude and your perceptions are what's creating ALL of your challenges and dramas in your life. You come across completely rigid and not at all willing to listen to what anyone has to say - so firm are you in your reasoning that you are RIGHT. Well you may be RIGHT but you're never gonna be HAPPY with this route you're taking...because NO ONE will live up to your standards and you're going to spend the rest of your life BOUNCING from relationship to relationship BLAMING other people for the fact it doesn't work out - when in fact you're the common denominator here."

Again, that wasn't my reply to the person who has now deleted the thread and left the site! My reply - which thankfully I retrieved before she deleted the three-page-thread was:

"Honey, I don't often say this but I've resigned myself to the fact I can't help or say anything to you. I guess I simply lack the tools. I am sorry for that. You've had some really good, empathetic, supportive and helpful advice, and you've concentrated continually on feeling defensive and proving how "right" you are and how "wrong" he is. Therein lies the troubles and will most-likely continually cause friction in your relationships if left unchanged or altered in any way.

This whole experience is a wonderful opportunity for personal growth, healing and to possibly learn new (and more effective) ways of communicating with other people. You'll be amazed how happy life can be when you don't make someone else to be "wrong" for how they think or feel. If you're happy in your life (your work, your friendships and relationships) - then by all means keep on the path you're on - doing all the things you've previously done - but if ever you get to a point where you realise you're not that happy with your life - then consider a mental shift. Perhaps then come back and read this thread. Good luck with it all. I think I speak for everyone who tried to reply to you - we want you to be happy and healthy. I am truly sorry you've not found any of this helpful. My only hope is that someone else reading it might have,...."


Well that was enough to set her off...Deletes the thread and writes to me about how unhappy she is with how she's been treated on SYBD. Honestly I can tell you - 95% of the thread was empathetic and supportive and urging a slight shift in perception. But did this person see that? No, she then, of course, made all of us "wrong" and dug her heals in to defend her case all the more. I think if if 15 or 20 people were telling me something - I'd take a pause and really sit with it to see if it held any validity.

I used to get a whole lot more OFFENDED by other people's comments and opinions but now I simply don't. I CHOOSE not to. I might have a moment of offense - and then I think about what they're saying. I can say, "No I will not get upset - instead I will choose to accept this information in the spirit with which it was intended." And let's face it - we know when people are just judging or being critical, and if they're genuninely concerned by something we're doing or saying.

Sometimes people, the truth can hurt. If it does hurt though, it usually means they're on to something! I've learned that lesson the hard way.

Whenever we feel so strongly triggered by someone else (like I have today), I reckon we need to take a moment and look at it. Perhaps this person reminds me of parts of myself that I don't like? I have spent my moments blaming other people for my misery, of that there is no doubt. I have wished that my relationships were different at times. I've wanted more from my partners than they were prepared to give me. No doubt again. I have felt judged and criticised just as she has done too. And in re-reading all of this, I've felt the need to be heard and be "right". So in some ways, we are the same. So much can be learned by putting ourselves in other people's shoes, eh?

Now, I am more calm, I mostly just feel FRUSTRATED. Frustrated at her for not "getting it". Frustrated with me that I couldn't get through to her. Frustrated with the awareness that I can't help everyone and that another person has left the site feeling even more unhappy than when she joined. That doesn't seem "right" somehow. But I continually have to remind myself - there is no "right" or "wrong", really. There is only our PERCEPTION. And say it with me kids "Perception is a MIRROR not a fact".

It's so funny because lately I've gotten such positive feedback from so many wonderful site members saying that my advice is really resonating with them...and the ones we remember (or focus on) the most are the criticisers. The unhappy customers if you will.

I vow to continue practicing what I preach. I believe I made every effort to be supportive, constructive, and non-judgmental in my replies and it still wasn't enough. She still left. I guess it reminds me we can't CONTROL anyone else - how they think, feel or act, we can only CONTROL how we CHOOSE to interpret/perceive it.

Maybe in some way my blogging about this is looking for someone to tell me (or my EGO anyway) that I am "right", but really I know there is no "right". People who choose to BLAME everyone else or make others WRONG seldom see otherwise. Honestly, I don't believe she was WRONG to want more time with her partner. It's a natural tendency. I guess my "issue" was merely the method she chose to go about it...(e.g. DEMANDING it). Issuing an ultimatum that did end up being a choice between spending time with her, six months into a relationship, or time with his kids. Who's going to lose out on that ultimatum...

My urge was for her to focus on the fact she could see him more than half the week. Instead of focussing on the perceived "lack" - to shift her focus to being grateful for what she did have. A honey to see week nights, and time for her own kids and friends and time alone...But we can't make anyone else SEE anything. Not if they CHOOSE not to. So it's been a valuable REMINDER for me.

I can't help everyone - particularly those who are unwilling to listen to what I am saying without putting on the defensive armour...and who are unwilling to take a cold, hard look at themself - without judgment. To see if in any way what I might be telling them might in fact be valid....

It's also a reminder that I can't take things like this so PERSONALLY if someone does CHOOSE to leave the site not having gleaned anything at all from the information provided...

WE SEE WHAT WE WANT TO SEE...

On that note, I have to get ready to go to the dentist. It'll be a pleasure after the morning I've had. Ha ha. Peace to you all. Even those who vehemently disagree wtih me!

Now as I write and the FRUSTRATION is passing I feel SADDENED. But again resigned to realise I can't HELP everyone. There are always going to be people who get mad at me for what I say or do. All I can really do is my best. And she has been a great teacher, I am sure I will learn even more from this as time goes on. I hope that in the future - she manifests an experience that shows that we were really keeping her best interest at heart and that NO ONE on that thread was judging, blaming or criticising her for Sport. Each person meant well. Our intentions were the best - even if she CHOSE to read them otherwise. Really, for the past few days, what I kept thinking while reading every one of her threads was "do you want to be RIGHT all the time or do you want to be HAPPY" because sometimes it's best to surrender that desire to be "right" for sake of a little happiness?

IF YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINS, THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE.

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