In relationships I used to blame the other for a lot of how I was feeling. It could be in my romantic relationships, at work, with my family – no matter what happened it was somebody else’s fault.
To think I had nothing to do with what was making me unhappy made it easier to justify being upset. Sometimes it was actually a way to bond with other people as well – I hate my job, my boyfriend does this. Bonding over the bad is often more accepted than coming together over what’s good.
I got mad at others because I didn’t want to deal with the feelings I felt. Better yet, I didn’t know how to deal with my feelings.
Buried underneath the anger, criticism, and blame were my feelings – covered up this whole time because I was trying to protect them. But all the time in hiding was actually making everything worse.
Worse because by covering up I couldn’t be the kind of person I wanted to be with others or with myself.
Where I wanted to be kind, honest, helpful to others all I could manage was a fake smile and plenty of judgement.
So how can we shift our behavior so that we can express ourselves the way we want to instead of feeling forced to be someone we’re not?
By paying attention to our words and reactions – without judgement – and choosing a different response.
It feels strange and uncomfortable in the beginning, but I promise it gets easier.
When you start to notice yourself reacting in the same way – take a beat – take a breath – and ask yourself – am I being honest, am I coming from a non-judgmental place, am I exaggerating the situation. Once you’re tapped in then it’s time for you to respond.
What you choose to do and say, and how you choose to act is your responsibility – It’s your power.
Use it wisely!