Mild to severe, other people’s actions can turn our world upside down. Most of the things that you get upset about aren’t your issues. That lazy co-worker who isn’t doing their share of the work? Maybe you are playing a role and not even realizing it. But realize it may have absolutely nothing to do with you. Your spouse may be cheating for the thrill of it and still loves you (although they have a crummy way of showing it). If your spouse cheats on you, and you take them back and treat them better than before, can you blame them if they cheat again? Sometimes there’s not enough good to offset the bad.
I recently let myself get all caught up in someone else’s drama. If your friend “borrows” money from you, and never repays it and you lend them more, can you blame them if they never repay that loan either? Is it really a minor thing you’ve been focusing on, making it major? The best thing to do may be to let go of the relationship. Obviously when kids are little, you have to control them.
My boyfriend’s daughter was behaving in some ways I found unacceptable. I love Maya Angelou’s advice, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I know you don’t think you’re enabling, you think you’re helping. In the big scheme of things, my boyfriend’s nonplanning is just not that big a deal. Why are you staying with someone who causes you so much upset and pain? Talk with a professional counselor – life is too short for all this drama. They might think running into traffic is a good idea and you should probably put a stop to that.
He was trying to rein her in; she was acting out more and more; we all went to counseling (I can’t tell you how many arguments, sleepless nights, and general fury on my part all this caused). As soon as she moved, poof – there was peace on earth. Is she still doing all the stuff we had problems with? You think they will behave differently this time, that perhaps your love or kindness will change them. Get worked up – think of how they lie to you or how they don’t do their share or how selfish they are – whatever it is they are doing that drives you crazy. It’s offset by his kindness, patience, and wonderful good humor. If you can’t let go of the relationship (say it’s a co-worker), can you let go of thinking so much about them? But as they get older, you’ll find that you need to alter your behavior to impact theirs. You have several options – you can check out current fashion before you freak; you can yell and tell them they’re not going out like that (giving credibility to their attempt at rebellion); you can cut off the clothing allowance (controlling your behavior not theirs); or you can ignore it, knowing that sooner or later they will be embarrassed just like the rest of us and will fall in line.
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