As I said in my previous article regarding change; titled Change – so what? – ; one of my suggestions to people who are totally stuck in a rut is:
”what you've been trying up to now, has not been working. So try something else…change has to start somewhere…YOU are the only one that you can change and control and can influence completely…so why not TRY and start with YOU…that would, at the very least, be a start…”
The problem with this statement is that, although I am speaking to both parties involved, each one person sitting in front of me hears: “she wants me to change” – and he/she is right, absolutely correct – YOU need to change something…
The easiest thing ever to do in a relationship, be it a friendship, be it a marriage or a couple who have been together for some time, is to point the finger at the other person. The easiest thing to do is to spot the other person’s faults and contribution to the mess you’re in; and in all fairness; let’s be honest – that other person might have a hell of a lot of faults and contributions to the problems you are experiencing! But seeing as this is the easiest reaction to the problem, this is the one thing we do fairly quickly and often without letting up. These are the things we end up focusing on completely and without fail and it almost gets to a point where we are just waiting for this other person to make one of their usual mistakes so that we can again point it out to them by either verbally/physically attacking them or by getting all upset and withdrawing even further or even by getting all emotionally upset and starting yet another set of crying displays. The list of reactions goes on and on and on.
The person on the receiving end just adds this reaction to his/her list of things that you have been doing wrong lately and reacts in his/her own way to this situation. One another’s reactions start to be one of the focus points of your arguments; and become just another one of the many things on your list that you fight about.
Please note – I am not saying that mistakes have to be overlooked regardless of the pain and suffering and frustration they cause – I’m simply describing a re-occurring pattern of interaction here;
Due to a number of underlying problems and issues, we:
focus on the other person’s mistakes, a mistake happens, it confirms all the other underlying emotions and beliefs that we have created about our relationships and our partners and we react in a specific way, our reaction causes yet some more hurt and pain in the other person, which then confirms a set of beliefs and doubts and “truths” that he/she has about him/herself, about the relationship and about his/her partner and, in addition it gets added to the list of mistakes the other person makes – mistakes we are just waiting for, mistakes we focus on…
Can you see that something needs to happen in order to BREAK THIS CYCLE of events?
You are the only person you can control; you are the only person who you can be responsible for, so why not try to focus on your own contribution to the situation. Why not start somewhere? Why not say I am going to make the effort by turning that finger towards myself…? Change has to start somewhere…
Read the previous article: Change – So What!?