02 27, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 comments
I've been talking recently to people who have been having "problems" with a partner or someone close to them and I've been asked what they can do about this. So I thought I'd address this here.
Now, firstly, we can't change another person, we can only change ourselves. It is often very easy to see blocks in someone else or to see their potential. However, none of us knows someone else's path in life. Often the thing we feel ought to be changed is not the highest priority for the other person. I believe we are all the highest authority for our own paths.
If we can become more accepting of their differences, and if we can stop trying to control them and let them be themselves, we will find a sense of freedom and peace in our relationships. So I would suggest we work on our own development rather than trying to change the other person.
Secondly, I've found that other people usually don't respond well to being told they ought to change. If someone (particularly a loved one) is regularly telling you to change, what does that say about how they feel about you as you actually are. Not a lot, I'd say. Would you change for someone who doesn't seem to be like who you are?
Instead, I'd suggest we focus on the positive in the person. You can always find it if you look, but if you always focus on the negative, you will only see that. Try commenting on the things you like and ignoring the things you don't. That way, they will hear positive things from you and their general perception of your feelings for them will be much higher. Also, you may well start to feel better towards them too. The funny thing is, that people often change when they feel safe and accepted, so you may find they then manifest some of the changes you've wanted them too. However that will only happen if they are the changes they wish to make.
Thirdly, we sometimes grow apart from people. If one person changes and the other one chooses not to, those two people may find they don't have enough in common any more to spend lots of time together. It's one of the most difficult things, as feelings for the person may well be strong, but frustrations with the differences have arisen.
If you do feel that you need to move away, try and be honest enough to talk to them and explain how your feeling. It might not be easy if they are a partner or someone close, but it may be that they're feeling this too. If you agree to part, let each other go with love. Partings don't have to be hateful. Those that are respectful and amicable and much more pleasant.
So before you aim your frustration at another person, try these three steps first.
02 18, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments
This article is about boundaries. I've been hearing lately about people who are in unhappy relationships, about those who feel put upon in some area of their lives and those who are just unhappy with their lot. Now, there may be many reasons why this is, but one that often comes up is poor boundaries.
And this comes down to what you are prepared to put up with.
And this is closely related to what you believe you deserve.
Let’s start with relationships. Does he/she treat you in a way you dislike or take you for granted? And do you grit your teeth and let it happen or do you stand your ground?
It’s never too late to break a pattern, but it’s easier to set your boundaries at the beginning of a relationship. Early on in one of my relationships, a boyfriend told me to wear a certain outfit to an event. Now, I’m sure he was just trying to be helpful and was indicating that he liked the outfit. However I’m quite sensitive to being told what to do and I certainly didn't want a pattern of being told what to wear, so I deliberately wore something different. Nothing was said – it wasn't an issue, but he never told me what to wear again.
I wonder, though, what would have happened if I’d decided that I’d wear the suggested outfit in order to “please” him. I wonder if he’d somehow get a message that I liked this kind of behaviour from him and whether it would have encouraged him to do it again. We’ll never know, but it can show how the simplest behaviours can set a precedent which creates a lifelong pattern.
I think it’s good to know someone else’s boundaries. A different boyfriend was always obliging towards me; he always seemed to agree with me on everything. Although it might seem lovely, it was tiresome. I wanted to know where his boundaries lay. My instinct was to push and push until I found them and I had to hold back and be very careful not to treat him harshly. It was not a good situation.
Over the years, the level of behaviour I believe I deserve has increased and as such my boundaries have become clearer. Back in the past when I had less self-esteem, I'd be happy to relax my boundaries if it meant I felt more wanted and popular. But, although I had friends, I don't think this behaviour was what attracted them to me.
As my self-esteem was increasing and I was starting to assert my boundaries, I remember a situation with an acquaintance I didn't know very well. She felt I was causing trouble and had decided to “tell me off” like a naughty school kid but I stood up to her making it known that was not acceptable behaviour to me. I hadn't done that kind of thing before and I must admit I worried about it all night. I had to see quite a lot of her so it could have been awkward if there was any lingering bad feeling. But to my amazement, she came up to me the following day and was very friendly, whereas we’d barely spoken before. It seemed that something had shifted in her view of me.
Some people regularly stay late at work because they think it'll earn them more points with their boss. Some people give all their time to their friends because they think they’ll appear a better person. Some people become ever-pleasing to their boyfriend because they hope he’ll love them more. These strategies are unlikely to work.
There’s nothing wrong with giving of your time or your energy, but it’s important to only do it when you genuinely want to and not because you've created a condition to it. Often these conditions come from a belief in how the world should work, but they may well not be the belief of the other person.
So, at the end of the day, it’s up to you alone to decide what you’re prepared to give and put up with.