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It’s still early in the New Year, but you may already feel like things are not changing. Especially in your relationships.
And you have no idea what to do to make all your relationships better.
With so much negativity and heartache, it sometimes feels like no matter what you do or no matter how hard you try, everything just stays the same… or gets worse.
So what can you do?
Change your mindset
What exactly do I mean by that?
Consider this. How many times at work or at home, do you wish and hope that someone else would just change?
Maybe you wish they would do something differently or talk to you in a different way?
Or, How often do you find yourself judging or blaming someone else for a disagreement, argument or even a fight? You might say nothing to them, but it is that internal voice saying “He’s so rude!” or “She’s so ridiculous” or “I hate him!” or so many other unkind words that keeps you spinning in this critical place.
If only they would change their bad habits or patterns, be nicer or kinder or more loving to you, then things would be better. Right?
Not really. They will probably continue being the way they have been in the past. And it won’t help to make all your relationships better.
Why does this thinking get you into trouble?
First of all, you have NO control over anyone else’s thoughts, words or actions. Second, because you have no control over anyone else, any and every time you start judging or blaming someone or just plain hoping or expecting them to act a certain way, you give all of your power away to them.
And that does not feel good.
Regain your Power
So, what is this #1 action you can take TODAY, to make all your relationships better?
Bring all your power back to you and realize and accept that it all starts with you!
What does this mean?
Instead of focusing on the other person in the relationship, you focus on you and you do what you need to do to be in integrity and show up as the best you possible. I’ll give more details in a moment, but first think about a few recent challenges in your relationships.
Maybe your spouse and you disagree on how to parent your children or maybe your boss treats you poorly.
Or, maybe, even though you love your adult son or daughter dearly, you find yourself irritated almost always when you spend time together.
Or, maybe your next door neighbor seems to be intent on making your life miserable. There are so many different scenarios.
Check your Expectations
Once you have one or two of these scenarios in mind, check to see where you might be judging or blaming them for their actions or words or check and see if you are expecting them to do or say something differently than they have in the past.
If you are honest with yourself, every relationship that has tinges of irritation, frustration or anger will also have some part of you making a judgment or expectation about the other person.
And you feel so justified, right?
That’s the trap and that’s why this one action of shifting your focus away from them and toward yourself is the #1 most powerful thing you can do to positively impact your relationships right away, even if the other person does not change a thing.
You might be saying “I have no idea how to do this”.
And I would say, it’s simple but not always easy because there are old patterns/habits that you have developed over the years and it does take practice for this to become more natural. However, if you choose to practice this, you will see positive changes.
So how do you move away from focusing on the other person’s actions and words and shift back to yourself? Answer the question below to help you feel more empowered and clear about your next step:
What do I need to do right now to feel more solid within myself?
There are all sorts of ways you might answer this question from taking a walk around the block, spending time in nature or near running water, meditation, deep breathing or reading something that feels soothing.
There are as many answers to this question as there are humans in this world.
What matters is that you answer it honestly. When you do, you will start to feel some relief. If you feel no relief, continue asking this question.
Once you have your answer, consider the following question:
How can I set up this conversation/meeting/interaction so that I stay in this good, or better, feeling?
The answer to this question will allow you to show up fully and stay in emotional integrity.
Sometimes it is important to reschedule a meeting to a time when you feel stronger. Other times, it is helpful to create a time limit.
Sometimes you can share with your partner, child, co-worker why your relationship is important to you and then ask them to answer that as well.
Deciding on a shared intention for any interaction is powerful as well. Sometimes there just isn’t a reason to speak and the best course of action is to not interact. It depends on the details of the relationship.
The key is this: When you feel any icky feelings in regard to relationships, such as fear, anger, frustration or irritation, that means you have shifted your focus away from yourself and toward the other person.
When you want the other person to make it better, you give them the power and you will not feel good.
When you start to feel icky, shift back to yourself and focus on what you need to do moving forward to stay in the good feeling.
Does this work?
YES! Does it solve all your relationship issues overnight? NO!
But it will help you to create the space to make all your relationships better.
Being mindful about how you show up in every interaction with another is an important skill to develop. It is only when you pay attention to how you are feeling and what you are thinking and doing, that you have the power to make changes.
Since relationships are co-created by the people in them, when you make this one shift you can’t help but make all your relationships better!