Last Sunday morning, I hit the track with my girl Melonie (are we on for this Sunday Mel?) and afterwards we lounged at our local Starbucks and enjoyed our morning coffee. We had an enlightening conversation about how we dealt with people’s flaws when we cared about them.
When you meet someone, there are always things you like and dislike. Inevitably, we start to size people up in our heads and we somehow tell ourselves that our magic personalities will be able to change those annoying traits into good ones. We’re human…we all do it. However, people are who they are. Six months down the road, why are you arguing with someone over a trait you knew they had when you met them? Why are you getting angry that they won’t change the behavior?
If you are repeatedly doing this, then the problem lies with you. Either those habits are ones you need to accept as a part of your friend/mate/family member’s personality or you need to recognize they are who they are and it’s up to you to walk away if you can’t deal with it. Stop making other people’s issues your own.
In my marriage, we have disagreements about everything from raising kids to household finances. One time, we stopped speaking to each other for a week. Finally, I found myself saying “If this isn’t leading to a divorce, then I either need to accept it and move on or talk it through and find a solution we can both live with”. I had to stop blaming him or being mad at him for not reacting to something the way I wanted him to. I realized he was merely reacting to the situation the way HE would. When I stopped trying to force him to do what I wanted and accepted him for who he was, the anger went away and the problem solved itself.
I think we get so caught up in trying to fix people and control everything that we fail to admit one small fact…. you can only control YOUR life and YOUR reactions.
If someone is not treating you right….it’s probably not new behavior. They have probably been acting the same way since you met them. Why get angry over and over again? They have to change on their own. You have nothing to do with it.
If you don’t like the way someone handles their business….oh well. It’s their business. Can you be their friend anyway and love them for who they are? If not….that’s fine too. Just walk away. Let go of feeling the need to tell them what they should be doing. Chances are, they won’t listen and you will only stay frustrated.
Changing my attitude with people has helped me to grow and come a long way. I resolved to work on me, my reactions, my control issues and focused myself on what makes me happy. Everyone else is responsible for themselves.
Accept or Release….it’s that simple.