Nov. 2020: Relationships
Starting September 2020, I will be writing a series about a different monthly theme. The goal is to walk you through a weekly process to help alleviate concerns surrounding the topic of the month. November’s theme is relationships, and this week you will learn a new perspective when people are difficult.
Why Can’t Others See Things Your Way?
We have all been there, whether it be the strict professor, the unresponsive friend or argumentative dating partner. Why is it some people get along with you like a hand and glove, yet others insist on being disagreeable?
When people are difficult, it seems to make your life harder than necessary. It seems you must jump through extra hoops and run the extra mile to get things done. All the while, you may become resentful due to the other person’s lack of cooperation or lack of empathy.
You may turn to more extreme measures, such as yelling, shaming, or attempting to change others’ behaviors. Perhaps this can result in your lying or manipulating to get your way. Do not feel bad if this is you. You’re only human with real human emotions, and we generally want others to see our points of view.
But, when people are difficult, I challenge you to take an alternate perspective on the situation.
Hoping for Change
Imagine another person disagrees with your belief. For example, let’s pretend you ask your landlord to waive a late fee and he says “no.” You tell yourself that after being such a good tenant, he is being difficult for not granting you a one-time break. Clearly, he could abide by your request, but he chooses not to. You want him to change.
Therefore, you begrudgingly pay the late fee and tell yourself you’re moving out as soon as possible. You start to believe you should not be his customer. And you may even round up your friends to tell them how inconsiderate this landlord has been. You post your disappointment on social media, hoping the landlord changes his mind.
The problem with this? You are taking action because you did not get what you wanted. Why is this a problem? Because life is about not getting what you want. People do not exist to grant your wishes or to make your life easy – that is not the job of your fellow humans.
By wishing and hoping people will change, you are resisting who they are. If you try to shame or manipulate someone into acting a certain way, it exposes an insecurity you have within yourself.
Of course, life can be much easier when we all get what we want. However, the harder your efforts and the greater your sacrifices, the more rewarding your life.
Hint #2 When you want others to change, it changes you, not them.