Could The Problem Actually Be You?

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~Dalai Lama

I’ve made a million and one mistakes in relationships. I’ve expected too much. Or not asked for what I needed in fear of rocking the boat and possibly tipping it over. I’ve been competitive. I’ve been suspicious. I’ve been dependent. I’d like to think what redeems me from all these mistakes is that I’ve also been down right honest about it. Being self-aware, in my opinion, is far more valuable than pretending to be perfect—mostly because the former is attainable and helpful, while the latter is neither.

We all know relationships are not easy. They mirror everything we feel about ourselves. When you’ve had a bad day, the people around you seem difficult. When you’re not happy with yourself, your relationships seem to be lacking. When you attack someone, their natural instinct is to get defensive, which gets you nowhere. 

If you approach someone with compassion, you will open their hearts and minds. Show them you understand where they’re coming from, and they’ll be willing to see your side. That gives you a chance to express yourself and your expectations clearly. And when you let people know what you need at the right time in the right way, they’re more likely to give that to you. We don’t live in a vacuum. We have thoughts and feelings that can be confusing. Other people do too. And just like in the movie Crash, they don’t always collide smoothly.

If you blame another person for what you’re feeling, the solution is on them. But this is actually faulty logic because it gives them all the control. And it usually doesn’t solve the problem, since you didn’t address the root cause.

Next time you feel the need to blame someone for your feelings—something they did or should have done—ask yourself if there’s something else going on. You may find there’s something underlying: something you did or should have done for you. Take responsibility for the problem and you have power to create a solution.

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