No matter who you are, you’re “in relationship” with someone.
That can be someone you're living with, in a romantic relationship with, a friend, a relative, an employee, a boss, co-worker, a child or even your dog. It can also be the people you mingle with in traffic, at the store, restaurant, or bar.
And certainly yourself.
The way to good relationships is not by pointing out faults or by putting attention on the things that bother you. Neither is a good relationship cultivated by needing the person you’re in relationship with to change or to be different than they are.
What you focus on expands and what you think about becomes your reality whether you like it or not.
If you want things to be different, it’s up to you to focus differently.
How do you think you would feel if your focal point changed from what you didn't like to what you like or love about someone?
How do you think your relationships would change if you started every conversation with, “Do you know what I love about you (or what's great about you)”?
How do you think your weekly meetings would go if each person attending expressed something they appreciated about another person?
How do you think you would feel about yourself if you found something to love about yourself every time you looked at or thought about yourself?
No matter who it is, there are positive things about that person that you could emphasize. Looking for evidence of their faults doesn't make what you perceive as their faults go away, nor does it make you feel better.
Do this now...think of someone you know.
Now think of something you don't like about them, something they do that annoys you, or something you wish they'd change. Let yourself hang 'round here for about 2 minutes.
How do you feel?
Write down how you feel.
Now think of the same person and think about the things you like, love, enjoy or appreciate about them (unless you're too annoyed by now, in which case, think of someone else).
Let yourself hang-out here for about 2 minutes.
How do you feel?
Write down how you feel.
Which felt better to you?
To focus on what you didn't like or what you liked about the person?
Are you in control of how someone else behaves? (I know you might like to be).
Can you do much other than get upset about the way someone else is and demand they change?
What do you have complete control of?
The only thing you have complete control of is what you focus on and how you feel when you're doing it.
It's kind of like watching tv. You have complete control of the remote. You can watch that show but if you don't like it, why not change the station?
Similarly, if you don't like what you're rendezvousing with in someone else, why not change your station? (meaning tune yourself to something else about that person).
It's not up to them to change so that you can like them anymore than it's up to the tv stations to broadcast only shows you like.
Once again, what you focus on expands. Which means that the thing(s) you don't like about yourself or someone else but keep pointing out - keep being your nemesis because that's what you're putting your attention on.
Soon enough, you'll find more things about yourself or that person that you don't like because that's what your attention is on.
What you expect from someone is what you get.
No one can live outside of your expectation of them.
What you expect and what you want are often different.
(Think about that).
There are so many good-feeling things and positive aspects to emphasize about yourself and others. The more you do it, the easier it is to discover more to love, like, enjoy or appreciate. Likewise the more "faults" you point out, the easier those become to find as well.
Think of it this way - you don't get a good or better relationship by pointing out what's wrong and you don't get a bad relationship by putting your attention on what you like most about another person or yourself.
You get more of what you think about. (I know, I said that already).
Good-feeling thoughts are just a thought away and good-feeling thoughts can only lead to good-feeling relationships.
Cultivate the relationships you want, by deciding that you want to feel good and because you want to feel good, put your attention on finding things you like, love, enjoy and appreciate about yourself and others.
Do it and do it on purpose.
You'll reap the benefits of your deliberate focus if you do.
For one week, try this:
Start making short lists of things you like, love, enjoy or appreciate about everyone you think about including yourself. You can do it about inanimate objects as well if you want to.
If you find yourself about to criticize, reprimand, or be annoyed at yourself or someone else, stop. Stop as soon as you find yourself doing it. Remind yourself that you want to feel good. Back off. Think of something else or of someone else.
Incessant conversation about what doesn't feel good to you about someone else is not helpful. Stop that too. Decide that if you're going to talk about yourself or someone else, you're going to speak highly of them and compliment or praise them. Pay attention to how you feel as you do.
Do this often.
Check in with yourself at the end of the week (or throughout the week) and see how much better you feel. Keep at it. Do it for another week. Do it for your lifetime.
Over time, your relationships will mold to how you're focusing about them.