Is there a better way to create change when we are angry?
Are you really angry with someone, for not being who you want them to be? For not meeting your needs? Not having your values? At work or at home. A relationship that you have some control over?
Here’s the thing.
We think that by being angry with that person. By voicing our anger and disapproval. That they will change. That our anger is a way of control. That by holding onto it, it will be enough to make change happen.
Is that true? Is that likely?
Think about yourself. Are you likely to grow and change in a positive way, if approached in that way? What about others.
Usually, we can encourage people, by recognising the various things they do. Even if it is the smallest thing in the right direction. We show our appreciation for their actions, their behaviours (rather than the outcomes), their consideration.
If we think of ourselves. When someone appreciates us, recognises us, acknowledges us, for an effort we made. Our chests might puff out with pride. We feel good. And we want to do more of that thing.
It might seem hard to begin. We might feel that there is too little, amongst too much. However, if the aim is to make the relationship work. Or at least, see if it can work, long term. Then this might be a useful consideration.
Not least, if the anger hasn’t worked so far. What benefit is there of holding onto something so toxic for you?
As you do these things. Keep acknowledging, and appreciating, changes along the way. Beware the muttering gremlin that mistakenly tries to convince you that acknowledgement isn’t needed, because after all, ‘they ought to have done it anyway’. Keep giving that appreciation.
Yes, you may still need to share the impact that certain behaviours have on you, and set emotional or other boundaries, at times. It isn’t about ignoring anything deeply important. It is more about looking at what the majority of the conversations and interactions look, feel, and sound like.
We aren’t trying to change or manipulate someone into being exactly who we want them to be. That isn’t possible. If you are truly so different, or they cannot meet your core needs, then there may be a line to be drawn.
Otherwise, or in the meantime. Remember to allow yourself to also be open to suggestions, as far as it is safe. And allow yourself to (healthily) give more back too (rather than waiting for them to catch up with giving). Who knows, maybe you can capture why you hired them or dated them in the first place.
Time to let go of holding onto the anger of it all?