This insightful post comes from a newsletter sent by Michael Schmeja, of Michael Schmeja Consulting. As he already wrote it, it was easy to ask him if we could make it into a guest blog! It also has some really important lessons in it – and only a 2 minute read!
When I had an issue with my Dad, one of the things my mother used to say was: “You know how your Dad is!” or, “He has always been that way”. Discussion over.
Have you realised the same things in your family, or with friends? I have. It seems like certain people have certain traits we simply tolerate even they make us feel bad. Now, you had me writing that you can only ever change what’s in your control or said differently, within your control is only your reaction to the situation. Granted.
However, I’d also argue that in some cases it is every worthwhile voicing the point TO the other person. Why, you ask? Firstly, no point in constantly allowing abuse of your emotions and secondly, you allow the other person awareness. Maybe, he or she isn’t even aware of the reaction her/his behaviour causes. I agree, some people who aren’t very developed in their consciousness give a damn about your critic even it may be constructive. In which case you cut them out of your life.
It’s a bit tricky with close family but at least contact can be minimised or very much reduced. Once again the biggest issue here is overcoming your feeling of guilt that we get injected along with many other bullshit rules and beliefs when we are young.
Nobody needs to tolerate abuse, the very reason that you grew up in a family, that somebody fed you, clothed you and send you to school doesn’t give them the freedom to expect anything from you. If they didn’t do it for the love of having you, they did it out of calculation for some benefits and when that deal was created you had no say about the conditions! So it’s not on you to honour the deal. When we honour the deal nevertheless, we do it because we are once again afraid of what others will say about us. A vicious circle starts as we give an example to our own children.
But there is another important point to note.
What are our own flaws? What are others saying about you? And are you interested or do you give a damn about it? Are you constantly working to improve your own flaws or are you marinating in narcissism and are actually very proud of your traits?
Self-reflection and self-awareness are some of the key components in coaching. This is where a good coach holds the mirror to your face and gets you to see the other side and questions if you like what you see. Often enough, your own behaviour isn’t that different from the people we criticise. The hardest hit is when your partner says, “now you are acting like you so and so”, worse Mum and Dad. Ouch!
Hence, my invitation to you is twofold. Have the courage in pointing out the traits that bother you in others in a constructive way and at the same time, check your own and keep on working on them and improving them. We’ll never be flawless but the slightest improvement will make you a more pleasant person to be around and will nurture your own soul.
With love and respect
Michael Schmeja Consulting
Stay present. Stay tuned. Be kind