Too many times we look at things that happen in our lives and see it one way. “My son always leaves his dirty dishes in the den.” “My daughter is lazy.” “My husband spends more time working than with me.” These all may be true statements, but look at how they are said. They are said with a negative connotation and will no doubt give us feelings of anger and frustration. You may have tried everything you can think of and can’t seem to make a change in any of these situations. Why are we getting so upset?
Why Are We So Upset?
We tend to get upset when we set expectations for certain things to happen that don’t. We expect the dishes to be put in the sink, people to be motivated, and our loved ones to spend time with us. These are NOT unrealistic expectations, but are at the root of why we tend to get upset. We expect these simple things to happen and can’t rationalize in our own minds why they aren’t happening. We don’t understand how others don’t see things the way we see them. This will result in anger, frustration, and sometimes depression. You may be thinking, “If my expectations are realistic, and things still won’t change, what can I do?”
Change Your Perspective!!!
If changing your expectations is too difficult, try changing your perspective. For example, instead of getting mad about the dishes being left in the den, step back a minute and look at the bigger picture. Does it really matter, in the grand scheme of things, that some dishes were left in the den? Personally, I agree…put your dishes away, but it doesn’t really matter. If you see the dishes in the den, don’t get angry about it. This is the small stuff we talked about before, so don’t sweat it. Call for your son to come clean his dishes up. Don’t lecture or yell, just ask him to come pick them up.
Instead of seeing your daughter as lazy, try to understand her interest. It may not be that she is lazy at all. She may be very motivated when it comes to things she’s interested in. Instead of drawing a line and labelling her as “lazy,” try to understand her motivations and move her in that direction. The change in perspective is around looking at the whole person, not just a few things that they don’t care to do. When you change your perspective, you can accept the things she is lazy with and either help her be more motivated or push her towards things she is motivated to do.
Instead of thinking your husband enjoys spending his time working more than time spent with you, change your perspective. Understand that work is a necessity and that maybe your husband is having a hard time finding that balance between work and home life. See it as a challenge and help him to find the balance. Don’t hold it against him and allow it to breed anger. View it as an opportunity to help and inspire him to want to spend more time with you.
Sometimes we have to accept that no matter how much we yell, kick, or scream, everyone is not going to meet our expectations, no matter how realistic they are. When this happens, we can’t give in to anger and frustration because it will only ruin our own happiness. When faced with expectations that are not met or are too difficult to change, try changing your perspective. Look at the situation under a different light and create a perspective that allows you to deal with the situation without frustration. It doesn’t mean you have to concede and get walked on. It simply means that you can respond more positively and at the same time keep your sanity. Remember what Shakespeare said,
“Nothing in this world is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”