Why do a lot of people live in not-working and unhappy relationships? Why do we clearly see there are a lot of children with behaviour or mental problems without parent’s consideration?
“If he/she changed his behaviour our relationship would be happier, I would be more satisfied.” “My child is behaving badly, I must change his/her attitude!”
Does it sound familiar to you? We hear these kind of sentences several times, they are kind of usual part of a discussion between friends, colleagues or family members. What is the same in all these kind of sentences? Why do all these “efforts” fail most of the time?
Because the approach basically is wrong, we want other people around us to change. We make so much effort to make that happen, we almost force them which produce even a stronger resistance from their side.
Our interactions are based mainly on action and reaction. Inter-ACTION
Our wish or desired outcome is focused on the reaction without changing our action. If you do the same thing thousands of times (actions) why do you expect a different outcome (reaction)?
Well, logically the best approach is to change our actions and after we can expect different outcomes. We must understand we only can change ourselves, our actions and approaches. We can’t change directly our husband/wife, our children (without damage) or our parents or their attitudes or approaches. If we keep doing, like most of the times, we fail and wonder why all the time.
So why don’t we change our own actions if we are not satisfied with usual outcomes?
First, it requires the most important thing, a kind of ability, getting the focus back onto ourselves. It’s all about ego, knowing or not knowing we always can be wrong, doing things on a wrong or not effective way. Instead of pointing the finger to another, asking “Why does she/he do it?” or “Why is she/he like that?” we can put immediately the right approach onto our action and ask “What did I do he is reacting like that?” or “What can I do or what can I change to get or avoid that outcome?” Since we have control just on ourselves and accepting the fact that we can’t control others this is the logical move. This self-approach also includes acting, doing something instead of keep suffering and complaining. Since in an interaction there are always two or more people, including us, we can’t preclude the possibility we might be wrong. It’s not about blaming ourselves all the time, it’s all about using a self-questioning (self-critical) point of view a bit which needs a true self-knowledge. The aim of this view is to raise the question of our own behaviour before we point the finger to another. This technique is very useful in one hand, to know more about ourselves like makes our brought schemas from our parents visible (sometimes maladaptive) and the other hand knowing our partner(s), children, parents or colleagues, friends better and improving our relationships with them. Using this technique we are doing our part at least, what we are responsible for, our 50%.
If this technique is so useful and easy why don’t people use it?
Because of the ego self-defense system. Most of us have a positive picture inside about ourselves (except pathological conditions). Basically we all have a positive self-image inside, which is we all feel and know we are good people. To protect this image we have the Ego Defense Mechanisms. This is responsible for most of our bias, kind of preventing us to see objectively a situation, or ourselves. We use different cognitive bias mechanisms. With the technique above we can dismount it a little bit and understanding what we do and why. I call it conscious being.
What can happen if we start to understand and dismount a bit our Ego Defense Mechanism?
Most of the cases our created and desired picture perfect about ourselves gets broken. Like “I’m a good father/mother!” “I’m a good, I’m attentive…..” “I always care about others” etc. Finally we would be able to realize, we are imperfect and so human. But also after we are able to correct them, at least making some effort to change them and step onto the way of personal growth.
It’s time for you to change, to get a real view of your life and relationships. If you need professional guidance contact me.