As humans we often spend a significant amount of our time frustrated with those around us. We rant and rave at them in our heads. We boil beneath forced smiles. For so many of my clients, their most common emotions are anger and frustration.
I once had a client whose best friend was not a fan of her significant other. At one point, her friend had told her that she “could do so much better.” My client was furious. She was indignant that her friend would decide not to be supportive of her new relationship. She felt that her friend was being judgmental of her and her boyfriend. She was so angry with her friend that when we first met, she told me that she wanted support to determine whether this friendship was something she should continue to invest in. She was thinking she might not want this person in her life any more: “If she can’t be supportive my life and my choices, I don’t want her in my life at all.”
Any time we approach an issue from anger, our first objective is to shift away from the anger and move to a more neutral space. For most people, this neutral place is curiosity. Curiosity has a way of side-stepping anger, dulling its edge and allowing us to examine the situation from an alien-perspective.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why people do the ****** things they do or say?
Believe me, as a fellow human, I thoroughly enjoy a good rant and rave occasionally. While ranting and raving can be a good way to release some stuck energy, it is not on the same plane as rational behavior. Any time you are about to take some action out of anger, I recommend starting with a curious breath before deciding your next course of action.
In this case, I asked my client, Why do you think your friend said that? Why do you think she doesn’t like him? Why does she care who you date? What’s going on with her that would make her say something like that?
All of these questions de-escalated my client and carried her to a space of compassion. She believed that her friend was protective of her because she had been in some rotten past relationships and her friend carried her through. She knew that ultimately her friend was coming from a place of wanting the best for her. She knew that her friend had a hard time letting people in and needed time to get to know people. She wasn’t being malicious. Truly, she was acting from a place of love for her friend. It was just love dressed in a crappy outfit.
By the end of the session, my client was feeling badly for harshly judging her friend who was simply trying to love her and protect her.
It’s not always easy to love the humans in our lives but if you can take a break, make room for a curious breath, can you come back to these relationships from a better place. A place of compassion.
That’s not to say that relationships can’t eventually run their course, that can certainly be the case. People grow apart and need different things from those around them. However, you will never be able to discern whether a relationship has reached its expiration date if you make that decision from a place of anger or indignation. To make decisions you can trust and feel good about, you must do so from a place of love for others as well as yourself.
When relationships come to an end there should be peace and clarity that comes with that climax. Relationships that end in a blaze of glory are likely far from over. Those types of endings simply create baggage that will inevitable resurface. Lingering, strong emotions will only serve to draw that relationship (or another one just like it) back to you again in the future.
Evaluate the people in your life from a neutral space of curiosity and compassion. From there you can truly consider whether this relationship is something you want to continue to invest in.
“Curiosity is making the choice to look deeper into everyday things and seeing their true significance. Realizing that there is much to learn from everyone and everything you can encounter is the first step to living a fulfilling and happy life.” Source
I am a certified life coach and I support my clients in working through relationship challenges to find happier and more fulfilling lives. Take a leap into something new and see how we can create more happiness in your life.
What are you waiting for?