March 1, 2020

Something major shifted in my relational dynamics when I stopped assuming that when I was offended by something the other person did, they were supposed to know better and not misbehave.

Instead I learnt to become curious: why are they behaving that way? Maybe they don’t understand how this is impacting me?

Even when it seems really obvious to me, I am no longer assuming that what is obvious to me is obvious to somebody else.

It sounds simple, but it has been revolutionary.

I am hardly ever upset about anyone’s actions for more than a couple of hours anymore.

What could this person not know?

If he is leaving earlier and I have to wake alone in the middle of the night, could it be that he doesn’t have a concept of showing up and protecting vulnerability?

Yes, it could!

If his actions are totally misaligned with his words, could it be that he doesn’t understand that it confuses and hurts me?

Yes, it could! 

If she is emotionally attacking me even after I’ve asked her to stop, could it be that she doesn’t understand how much pain it creates in me?

Yes, it could!

If he is behaving in a calculating way although I know how deep I am in his heart, could it be that he is not trusting his own feelings?

Yes, it could!

So, what I had to learn was to express my emotions in a clear and non-judgemental way.

Huge evolutionary step!

I’m still mastering feelings and expressing them right on the spot… and sometimes I succeed!

People are quite willing to be educated. And in our relationships, we need to keep educating each other about what works and what doesn’t work for us.

So next time you get upset with someone, catch yourself before you lash out at them with your upset and criticism, pause for a moment and get curious, ask yourself: what if they don’t know how this is affecting me? How can I help them feel me?

(Read more about healthy ways of expressing emotions in my post from a few days ago titled “I care about you enough to express how I feel”).

Liberate yourself

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