Even when our grandmothers say the “wrong” thing, criticize us unknowingly, and don’t seem to “get it,” we take a deep breath, and then we muster up the patience and understanding to help them understand. We don’t let our anger or frustration take over.
What if we did the same thing with the assholes in our lives?
I know that you are probably cringing right now, but I please hear me out.
Why do our grandmother’s act the way they do?
They don’t always realize what they are doing, and even if they did, they wouldn’t care because they are grandmas. It’s the exact same thing with the jerks in your life.
All of the challenging people in our lives are acting the way that they are for two main reasons.
Reason #1: They have been conditioned to do so. They are acting within their values, and it just happens that what they value and what we value don’t align.
Reason #2: They aren’t acting within their value system because they are acting from their subconscious defense mechanisms, which kick in in times of stress, insecurity, despair, hurt, etc.,. When our defense mechanisms takes over, it’s like some other person (a child perhaps?) temporarily takes over, and we lose sight of what really matters. Only the most mindful and self-aware of us even notice.
If reason #1 and #2 don’t fit, is it possible they could be an ass, plain and simple. They know what they are doing, why they are doing it, and they don’t give a shit who gets hurt in the process. (We love to believe that this is behind all of the difficult people in our lives, but it isn’t--it’s usually the first two.)
If you really want to turn things around with a challenging person in your life, I encourage you to start treating them like you would your grandma. We cannot influence people to change if we do not value them as a human being.
Here are a few ideas...
- Let them think they are right, while also giving them an alternative perspective.
- Practice patience and grace, even in the face of absurdity and criticism.
- Ask lots of questions, and help them to understand for themselves how their actions have repercussions.
If you start to value others, like you value your grandma, I promise that your inner and outer environment will become a lot more peaceful.
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