Inspiration//What’s Holding You Back From Change?

change

Annoyed with how someone has been mistreating you?  Not thrilled about your current status of your relationship? These are just a few of many complaints that I have heard, whether personally, or in conversations with others.  I felt compelled to address something that has been heavy on my mind, and hope that I can help provide some guidance to fellow complainers.

Listen, let me just share with you that I’ve complained a lot!  I know that I’m not alone, so don’t judge me too much. I know that communicating what upsets me comes naturally.  I’m sure my sister doesn’t mind haha! But then what?  I share this with others, and go on about my day only to revisit the same complaint the following day?  Sounds crazy…right?  Believe me I know!

Here is a book that has helped shake me out of the deja vu I was constantly experiencing:

Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.

Originally, this book was assigned to me as a class assignment during my Graduate program. But, I’ve referred back to this book on several occasions.  Don’t get turned off by the description of the book being a “woman’s guide”.  I do not feel as though women are the only individuals who can benefit from this read. This book provides examples of how we complain about our life experiences, but often times do nothing to change the outcome if repeated in the future. In addition, Dance of Anger provides helpful feedback on how to break this cycle to make long-term changes in your interactions with others.

I’ve learned new ways of navigating through all of my complaining, to be able to brainstorm and attempt new solutions. Instead of dreading that conversation with someone (that normally goes sour before you’ve realized what’s happened), instead of feeling hopeless that your current situation won’t improve, try jotting down some possible scenarios to instantly reduce those troubles.  Sounds simple enough, but not many of us are able to think logically when experiencing feelings of anger, hurt, frustration or sadness.

Remember that you’re perfectly capable of impacting change in your life.  Just work on making these changes, INSTEAD of just complaining about them.

~XOXO

FreeBryd

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Are you able to forgive?

forgiveness-is-the-best-form-of-love-it-takes-a-strong-person-to-say-sorry-and-an-even-stronger-person-to-forgive-love-quote

A few days ago I was forced into a 5 week long-distance relationship! Ugh! My boyfriend has to do some traveling for work, and I won’t be able to see him in person until mid September. We’ve been together close to 4 years, and this is the longest amount of time that we have been away from one another.

The day he left was pretty overwhelming for me. I sat in bed just reflecting on our relationship. ALL I could think about during those moments were: If I only had 5 more minutes, I shouldn’t have been so mad at him last week, why didn’t I try to reconcile much sooner?

I played around with these questions in my head for quite some time. Needless to say, I was bummed for not taking more advantage of the time that we did have together. Neither of us are saints. So we do have our share of disagreements, screaming matches, and “I’m not talking to you” days. But, I admit that I have the not so favorable trait of holding a grudge.

Since I was in the position of honestly checking myself, I knew that I was the problem. I often ignore many attempts at forgiveness, all to “make a point”. As I sat there silently reflecting, none of those disagreements mattered. My biggest concern was that I’ve let so much valuable time past. Today, I am telling myself that it is perfectly normal to not always agree 100 % of the time with another person. In fact, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to avoid disagreements with others; especially loved ones WITH whom you’ll constantly interact. What does matter, is how you choose to come back together. Like I’ve mentioned, my best move was to ignore the attempts at moving forward, and would miss opportunities to be able to grow individually and as a couple from these experiences.

I want to learn how to forgive sooner than I have been able to do so in the past. For me, a small argument could end up spilling over into the next day…or maybe even the next after that. I’ve allowed my “anger” to keep me from interacting with someone who I care deeply about…and for what? I seriously asked myself: Aren’t you tired of wishing you did something more after the fact? Indeed I was. So, this changes ASAP.

Some thoughts to keep in mind for my current & future self:
1) Get it together, and do it quick!
~Write or reflect on what happened. Ask yourself: What do I need to see happen to
move on? Is this something that I can do personally? Why are you feeling this way?

2) Remember the love you share.
~Write or reflect on your happiness: Why we are together? Remember the countless
moments consisting of laughs and 100 % weirdness. Do the good times trump the
disagreement?

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3) Check yourself for unnecessary negative thoughts that are keeping you from being
truly happy.
~Write or reflect on what you are telling yourself to “stay” mad:
What are you telling yourself that is keeping you from being able to forgive? I
sometimes think of the worst possible scenario :-/
Do you want things to get better? Always!
What are you doing to keep this from happening now? Being comfortable with being
upset, and often avoiding communicating.

4) Come back together and stop being so dramatic…as I’ve heard before from others
before!
~Apologize, break the ice (say something silly), talk about it, and move on!

I normally don’t share something so personal, and I’m not one to share such intimate details on social media. But, I wanted to do something to get me to take more accountability on following my own suggestions by documenting this. I’ve also learned recently from a close friend that opening up just a little bit more could actually lead you to help others. I don’t know who this post will reach, but I hope this helps.

~With Love,
From Me.

Listen first, Add your two scents later.

Based on the latest poll results, communication appears to be a big concern in many relationships. Can’t say that I’m surprised, because this would be my top choice when doing a quick self-check on what contributes to my relationship happiness.

Thinking back to conversations that I’ve shared with family and friends over the years, I do see a common theme. Placing blame on the person, and pointing out many of their faults. But what about what WE are doing to contribute to the poor communication?

Let’s focus on how WE can make things better, instead of waiting, hoping, and praying that our significant other will make those changes that we have suggested no less than maybe a dozen times each week.

A great place to start would be taking the time to evaluate how you LISTEN when speaking with your partner, co-workers, friends, and family members. One thing I’m guilty of for sure is interrupting..smh. When I’m supposed to be listening, I’m already adding to their story by sharing my own experiences. For example, let’s say one of my siblings shares with me a horrible work experience. Normally, before they can even let me know what happened, I’ve already let them know what I’ve been through. I know many of us do this, because I have witnessed this on multiple occasions and have never given this a second look. I’m not saying not to respond at all, because that would be lame. Nothing worse than expecting to have a conversation, but ending up getting a blank stare and wide eyes. I’m still going to have my gasps, and add my (I can’t believe that) in the background. But I’m wondering what differences we could see if we chose to interrupt less, and did more to change what we are doing to improve our communication versus waiting for the other person to get it together.

Any thoughts or ideas on how to improve how you communicate with others?

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