Is your daughter dating the guy you told her to stay away from just to spite you? Did someone you’ve been working with make a decision that didn’t include you and you think that they did so to cut you out? Have your relatives not called you lately and you think that it’s because they are mad at you? Do you think that others are doing or not doing something to you?
Do you make all your decisions based on another… or do you do what makes sense to you? Usually we do the latter. Now ask youself this question… What makes you think that others are any different? It is not all about you… In fact it probably has nothing to do with you at all.
We allow our minds to think the worst of other’s motives. It’s as if someone is doing something to hurt you when in reality they are doing what they think is best for them. Hurting you doesn’t even cross their mind… it’s about them. Sure there are exceptions… but they are less frequent than you imagine.
If rather than thinking that it’s about you… you acknowledged that you don’t know what is going on in their lives… you wouldn’t allow yourself to feel hurt over their choices. How many times have you encountered someone who was hurt by you in some way when what they are alleging caused them hurt never even entered your mind? We don’t walk in each other’s shoes.
If you find yourself asking, “Why are they doing this to me?” Try these Simple Steps to shift your perspective:
- If it is someone close to you then try Kenny Brixey’s method for clarification. He restates what he thinks they have said with, “I think you mean____________________.” That creates an opportunity for the other person to clarify what they are doing so that you both are on the same page. It doesn’t mean that you have to like or approve of their choice. This helps you understand their thought process.
- If there is distance between you pick up the phone and call them, skype or go visit. Obtaining clarification person to person rather than e-mail, text or chat is always a much better way to understand. We tend to fill in the blanks of written communication… and not with accurate information.
- If you don’t know this person well or it is a less personal relationship take a few moments to step back from your initial reaction. Consider all of the other possibilities why someone would do what they have chosen to do. You can write out a list or do it in your head. Don’t stop until you have considered every other possibility. While you may not know what the real motivation is you have shown yourself that there are other options… and your initial thoughts may be far from the truth.
When we stop thinking that everything that everyone else does involves us… we let go of stress, pain and tension that never existed in the first place. And that frees us up to actually enjoy life!