I was listening to a friend complain about her relationship the other day. She was unhappy with her partner and how they were communicating. Her complaining about him is nothing new. She wants him to behave differently, blames him for their problems and likes to make him wrong. Every time I see her it is more of the same thing.
It sounds just like me 5 years ago.
I used to be a professional at blaming my partner for everything that was going wrong in our relationship.When it came down to it, everything that he did that made me uncomfortable I declared to be wrong. He needed to communicate more effectively, change the way he did things, and remember to do this or that. I put all the responsibility on him for changing the dynamics of our relationship. I was unhappy and it was his fault.
I was always blaming him and making myself out to be the victim of his personality flaws.
Talk about not taking responsibility for my own happiness!
Then I began to understand how I could apply the concepts of personal responsibility to my relationships.I embraced the idea that I am responsible for my own happiness, and if I am dissatisfied with the way things are, it is up to me to do something different in order to create the change I am looking for. It is my job to shift my perspective, and to clean up any old stories that I am carrying that are getting in my way. My expectations and frustration are all about me and how I think things should be. That does not make them true for anyone else.
Let’s face it, we are all really just doing our best and being ourselves. In most cases, no one is purposefully trying to be a jerk, unless that is what you expect from them. (When you cast someone into that roll, and you expect nothing less, then that is what you get.)
I guarantee that when you are having an issue with someone’s behavior, it is really all about you.
The best way to change things is to identify your own role in it.
What exactly is making you upset?
What can you do differently to create the results you are looking for?
What old story do you need to let go of?
How can you accept your partner for who they are, perceived flaws and all, and learn to interact with that person, rather than trying to force them to be who you think they should be ?
I am going to honest with you; it takes courage and determination to fully embrace the idea of personal responsibility. Changing you behavior can be hard work. You have to pay attention to what you’re doing and saying. You often end up having to deal with old stuff that you would rather forget about. In my experience it is worth it. My life and relationships have changed dramatically for the better. It also puts your happiness back into your own hands. That in itself is worth it.
Are you willing to take this on?
Try it out and let me know what happens.