Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tip Two: Focus on Improving Relationships

 "But I'm right and he's wrong!"  "She always starts in on me about something.  I'm not the one to blame."

What good is winning a fight if you lose a friend?

We need to give in once in a while.  Did you honestly choose your friend or spouse because they were right 100% of the time?

So what makes you  think you should be right all the time?  Getting along with people is more important than making a point or winning an argument.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1. Stop Trying to Fix Others

This is number one on my list because it leads to a lot of troubles in human relationships.  William Glasser founded a school of psychiatry based on giving up what he called "external control."   As soon as we give up our "right" to control other individuals, we will find ourselves to be much happier people.  We will also be able to focus on controlling our own actions and doing what it takes to build quality relationships.

As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous you need the serenity to accept the things you cannot change.   We cannot control other people, nor would it be desireable if we did have the power to do so. 

You wouldn't be truly living if you existed in a world where others couldn't act as free moral agents.  No one could have any thoughts of their own.  You would already know what everyone would do in advance, because you would will them to do so.  It would be really dull.

Worst of all, the people would be incapable of loving you, being mere dream images or automatons.  And how could you love or respect a bunch of robots, even if they made sounds that you heard as the words "I love you."?  This might make for an interesting science fiction tale, but not a pleasant reality.

For better mental health and true happiness, we must realize that we have no control over other people.  We have no control over other people.  I repeated that statement to emphasize a point.

At first that may be a frightening thought, but after a while you will actually have a sense of relief.  If you are never in control of other people's actions, neither can you hold yourself responsible for their bad behaviors.  If you are a nice woman and vulgar men in hard hats sexually harass you on the way to work each morning, it isn't your fault.  You didn't make them do it by dressing in revealing clothes or moving your hips a certain way.  Whether they stop or not, you can stop blaming yourself for their caddish behavior.