I promise that this will help you to sanely survive dealing with people you are not too fond of i.e. certain family members, siblings, in laws, step-kids, ex’s, friends, coworkers, etc etc.
A few months ago had a series of interesting conversations with a friend, let’s call her Maria. Maria and I would find ourselves talking for hours on end about how to deal with different relationships, navigate tricky situations, accommodate everyone…it was exhausting and very time consuming…As women we feel the need to be seen as nice, notice I said ‘seen as nice.’- We would rather uphold a facade than allow the true us to be exposed. Feelings can be a very misleading marker for us to use as a compass, feelings are horrible guides because they are fickle. Sometimes we need to act intelligently and not emotionally.
Be transformed by the renewing of your feelings..oh wait no, your mind!- God
Back in November, Maria unintentionally acted intelligently instead of emotionally but was not sure if it was OK to do so. Intelligent women like you and me and Maria can for some unintelligible reason think our emotions are truer guides to use when dictating our actions. THEY’RE NOT!! We are so used to allowing our emotions to drive the car that we end up being wired as emotionally driven people when our intellect can help us maintain more authentic relationships and secure our sanity.
This was her dilemma. Back in October she was at her in laws house when she found out that her Mother in law intentionally forgot to put her on the food list for Thanksgiving dinner. My friend is an amazing cook…ouch. She told me that she deliberately left her out and it was clearly a slight intended to hurt Maria. My friend was not going to be making a dish to bring on Thanksgiving day!!!!! Not even a drink or dessert. HOWEVER…. Her response was brilliant and intelligent….Instead of allowing her mother in law to give some lame excuse for forgetting her, Maria spoke up first and said. “This works out really great. I have been so busy lately. Not having to bring a dish will really free me up and allow me to spend Thanksgiving morning watching the parade with my hubby and kids.Thank you for thinking of me.” And that was exactly what she did! She attended Thanksgiving dinner with a cheery and bubbly attitude, ate well, didn’t have to worry about bringing anything …everyone missed her cooking and made sure to let her know that…her mother in law was silent amidst her good spirits.
Maria took something that was meant to hurt and she diffused it! She didn’t stress out her husband who was surprised that she choose to simply let this one go. Also, she choose not to hurt back. Hurting people hurt others. We can’t change anyone, that’s a fact! BUT we can change, and that changes everything for us!
I was amazed and inspired by my friends mature and controlled response to something that was immature and out of her control!
SO….we talked some more and came up with a very simple way to tackle life a little differently. This intelligent approach will not only benefit you over the notoriously painful holiday season, the ones who really matter to you will benefit to.
This is what you need to do:
Choose to always assume that people are acting out of your best interest (even when they’re not), and because of this assumption decide not to give annoying, or intentionally hurtful behavior any attention at all (not even in your head) that’s it! You’ll be the happiest and sanest person in the room.
Know what your priority is and ALWAYS give that/them your very best attention.
So, for example this is my priority list: 1.Greg 2.the boys, 3.our time as a family(I protect that), 4.work(it sometimes come before extended family but not before my top two priorities) 5.Friends/ Extended family, 6.church.
We don’t get to choose other people’s actions but we get to choose how we interpret other peoples actions, and how we act. Know your priorities, know your boundaries(what you will allow and what you will not) Know when to speak up (I have no qualms drawing lines in the sand or being assertive only if it involves my top two priorities)
Try it out and let me know how it goes!!!
Keep in mind that genuine kindness and authentic graciousness are very uncommon traits. We are too often worried about what others think about us that there is no time to consider others. STOP THAT! 🙂 You should be loved for exactly who you are, allow people to love you, the real version.
That being said, I hope you have the best Christmas and holiday season ever!!!!