Ever have one of those weeks when someone is making your life miserable? It’s as if they’re doing everything in their power to drive you over the edge.
I’ve had one of those weeks at home.
iPads instead of studying.
Rooms that could have new civilizations living under the piles of stuff on the floor.
Homework assignments put off until last minute.
Unprepared for class.
Angry when we try to discipline. Set rules.
Angry at life because it’s stressful and growing up is hard, but I won’t tell you that it’s hard because I’m a teenager who holds it all in until I explode.
They’re angry? I’m livid.
In fact, livid is putting it mildly.
So what do you think I do?
Lovingly flit to their room, wait for their round of Fortnite to end, and sweetly ask them to make a better choice? Come on, honey.
Then I shout some more.
It’s like a tornado is forming and it’s getting wider and deeper eating up our lives and relationship.
I’m justified by the way. They are behaving like a baby, I’ll treat them like someone who’s not old enough to make their own decisions. I’ll show them what they deserve; what they’re asking for.
After all, they are wrong. They are making bad choices and acting like an ass in the process. I’m right, right?
After all my screaming, nagging, punishing and criticism, do you think they made a better choice? Made a change? Calmed down? Apologized?
Do you think I invited them to go to to a place where a change was possible with my words and actions?
Do you think I made them feel worse and backed into a corner?
It was fight or flight time, and they dug in for the fight. After all, they were being attacked.
If I told you that they needed to “get it” and they “had to change” and they were in the “wrong” you’d probably think I was right – especially if you’re a parent.
What if they aren’t the problem, but my response to the problem is the problem. Try that on for size for a sec.
Could it be? That very thing that is driving me bonkers and making me want to explode with anger isn’t only about the other person?
What do you think my chosen response did? I’ll tell you – it made it worse. Escalation central.
It’s easy for me to look at them and place blame, but they weren’t the only ones who raised the stakes.
From here, this cesspool of anger and frustration on both sides… what’s possible? Not much. It’s a deadlock each of us pointing, hating and blaming the other person for being out of control.
Something has to change. I’d like to say it’s them but I know the truth. Personal leadership is about admitting when we’re wrong and choosing to do what’s right.
Someone has to change to invite change in our responses, relationship, communication, and lives. Let it be me.
Let it be you. You go first.
Change Starts with You
At work, at home… Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, we are a part of the problem, and we can be a part of the solution.
Start here. Ask Yourself:
Where are you escalating, blaming or demonizing?
What would happen if you took a step back from your anger and frustration?
How do you think that they see you? Experience you?
When you speak with them, are you using nice or polite words but feeling the hate or disdain flow through your body?
Is this the person you want to be?
Are you letting default behaviors run your life?
What do you want more: To be right, to win or move forward with peace?
Are you inviting change or more of the same?
Change starts with you. Make the choice to let your personal leadership shine.
If you’re ready to instigate change and choose peace within, I can help you. Let’s talk.
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