Well, if you celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, how did it go? How do you feel? Is there anything stuck or swimming in your mind? Other than that potential feeling of needing to diet and exercise more that is!
If you are like me you had a great deal of time engaged with family, extended family, and close friends. This happens to be my favorite holiday, so I have years of stories about those that went perfectly and those that left me deflated or even bitter.
This year just so happened to be perfect. There were no arguments, no blatant disregard, no judgments, no gossip, and no tears. There was just a desire to engage, to converse, to share, to accept, to appreciate, and to love. What a blessing!
Of course, I know that this is just my interpretation of the 5 days we spent celebrating with overlapping waves of family and friends, and that is all I can control until someone brings something different, another perspective, to my attention. And if they do, I will certainly be interested to hear about their experience.
So, let’s talk a minute about these different types of potential experiences.
Perhaps you or a loved one felt under attack at some point during your festivities. Maybe someone offended you or was offended by you. Did you feel undervalued? Invisible? Judged? Or disliked? Maybe you just felt plain ole out of place. And then there is the almost always present issue of being drug into someone else’s situation with another!
My first bit of direction… stop choosing to take on the actions or words of another. That offensive, undervaluing, and judgmental statement they made is theirs. Their perception. Their thoughts. They don’t have to be yours. In fact, if you are ruminating about what ever it was, you are choosing to give it power over your true feelings. Let it go!
Something else to consider… you got it wrong! There is a good chance that you didn’t have the filtrations system of your boundaries properly intact. If you were complacent with your responsibility to show up with your confidence pants on it is likely that your feelings are bent out of shape because your interpretation of words or actions were malformed.
Now of course there is value in following up and investigating what and how you arrived at feeling the way you do about what ever it is.
Break it down.
Ask yourself if you are taking the persons personality into account. Did you consider that their abrupt nature may be coming from a situation you have no knowledge of? Is there any valid reason you can think of that may have driven or prompted their statement, action, or vocalized feeling? Are you sure any of it really had anything to do with you?
Sure, loved ones are notorious for lashing out at those closest to them. Often it looks like an overexaggerated response to “spilt milk”. Generally, this happens when something outside of the family unit isn’t going well for them only, they aren’t ready, are unwilling, or just don’t know how to talk about it.
And sometimes they just feel threatened or insecure about being compared to you. This can be because you have great things happening, or because you are in a vulnerable place. Either way they may be jealous or feeling neglected because of the attention they see you receiving.
You must decide how personal you want to make the issue. It is up to you to choose to let it go, let it fester, or seek to understand.
Seeking answers, when done through the proper dialogue and in the right setting, can help relationships flourish. This action provides space to learn how to understand others, promotes open communication, conditions unconditional support, and generates awareness about how words and actions are received.
Ultimately, you will return to the drivers’ seat when it comes to how you feel about yourself in your relationships with others. And you will develop your voice, the one that says, “hey, I am here for you unconditionally, but I won’t be your whipping board”.