- Applying our personal measures to other people's behavior. No wonder others don't measure up!
- Rushing to give advice. Before anyone even has a chance, we're applying our critical thinking skills and giving them advice. Never occurs to us others need to figure things out for themselves. If they want our help, they will ask for it. No need to jump in right away and starting giving directions. In reality, what's driving this behavior? Our wanting to help or our need to be right?
- Quickness to judge. What makes our way the best way? I've learned there are always multiple paths to solve any problem. How people choose to go about dealing with things can take many forms. Yet, we apply our own mold to the things other people are doing.
- Holding a grudge. Things may start with something simple, and escalate from there.
Instead of jumping to conclusions, being offended when our advice isn't welcome, and harboring bad feelings, I think a more positive approach is to be taken. Such as:
- Stop measuring other people by your own ruler. Each of us is unique and learn in different ways. Step back and pull yourself away from the situation to allow an unbiased view of things. If we disengage and look at a situation objectively, it often looks very different. This freedom from subjectivity is good enough to avoid falling into self-aggrandizing and builds space to allow others to learn in their own way how to deal with things -- possibly growing through the experience. Ultimately, this growth may enable you to have common ground for future sharing of experiences.
- Take a breath and realize it's not about me. Let the other person know you're available to help and support if they want it. That's it! You're not involved unless invited to help. This is ultimately freeing! Others problems don't become additional burdens for us. Think about it, why would you willingly accept someone else's problems. Yes, because you love them and want to help them, but in reality it's only because it makes us feel good. If we were brutally honest, it makes us feel superior. Wow! No wonder they don't want this kind of help!
- Stop expecting people to listen and change their behavior as you're suggesting. Why? Because we know everything! How crazy is that! When they don't do what we want, our feelings get hurt! Stop this craziness and the hurtful feelings will also stop!
- Let go of bad feelings. If you value someone being in your life, make peace with them.
Then there's a choice to be made. It comes down to whether or not having that person in your life matters to you. If it does, all parties need to sit down, be open to listening and communicating honestly about their feelings and everyone's feelings must be equally considered. Find the common ground upon which the relationship can be repaired and take small, cooperative steps to rebuild. Everyone has feelings and our feelings are not rational, but emotional in nature. To deal with emotions, we need to be rational.
Simple to suggest, but not simple to do.