Most of us have operating manuals for how we think people should behave. Our partners, our family, our colleagues. We know how they should think, feel and act. Things they should do, must do, or should never do.
To be a good person. To make us happy.
These operating manuals are not physical binders which we can put in the hands of other people to read and study.
They live inside our brains.
They’re bursting with hundreds of pages of expectations, rules and preferences.
They are the sum total of how you have honed your beliefs and judgements based on your life experiences.
And the stories you’ve told ourselves about what your experiences mean.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with having beliefs, judgements, preferences, wishes, ideals and ideas. Of knowing for yourself what is right and wrong, preferred or rejected.
What you want and don’t want in any aspect of your life.
Your manuals offer guidelines to help you navigate the world.
Relationship problems begin to assert themselves when your manual rules are unspoken.
People don’t come with operating manuals
When you presume to know what is right for another person who has the free will to decide what they want to think, feel and do, you’re headed for trouble.
You resent it when someone tries to tell you how to think, feel and act.
Let’s face it, we have ZERO control over other adults.
Each of us is free to make whatever choices and decisions we decide are true and best for us. Regardless of what someone else thinks we should think, feel or do.
Here’s the problem
You often have unspoken manuals for the people in your life.
You walk around thinking, your husband should do this, your step son should do that, your mother-in-law should…
If they do, you would feel a lot better.
Why won’t these people cooperate?
When they disappoint you, frustration, resentment and anger build, threatening to erupt like a volcano.
You’re positive you know the right way, the logical way, the most efficient, effective and smart way to do things. Of course, you fume, the other person should know all this too.
You brood in a downward spiral of negative thinking.
You don’t communicate what you’d like from that other person.
When you don’t share your expectations and preferences, you’ve set yourself up for frustration and disappointment from the get-go.
Are you’re afraid, embarrassed or ashamed to share them?
If you don’t ask for what you want, the odds of getting them are slim to none.
Has anyone perfected mind-reading yet?
Here’s the solution
“No, you have. Yes, you might get,” to quote my wise mother.
Share your expectations, preferences and requests.
Share with no strings attached.
Notice what people do when you don’t try to control them.
Where your power lies 100% of the time
If you place it in the hands of another person, you sacrifice your personal power to create the life you want.
Let people be who they really are without taking their choices personally.
Try to understand their behaviors from a place of curiosity as to what it means about them. Their thoughts, feelings, behavior, and results.
Focus on trying to control yourself and your responses to other people’s behavior.
If people don’t follow through on what you ask, you get to decide what to think and feel about it.
100% of the time.
How might your manuals be causing problems in your life?
I can help you think this through and plan your next best steps.
Ready for your free Strategy Call? Just click the box in the right hand column. Let’s get started.