I read an interesting article today in Yoga Journal regarding interactions with family. Perfect timing because as the holidays approach many of us, including myself, will be in close proximity to those we call family. This article suggested that we look at this time together a little differently. "What can I learn from that person?" is what we need to ask ourselves instead of "Why am I getting so annoyed?"
My first thought was actually more than one thought. "Are you kidding? What could I possibly learn from _______. How about a lesson in what not to do?" I'm sure we've all been there. There is the family member that tries to "one-up" the others, the family member who loves to see fault with everything, the family member who is so laid back it's irritating, the family member who just sits back, the family member who forgets there are other members who may not share his/her harsh judgement and you get the point. For some people they might not have an issue with any of this and for others it is stressful. So, what do you do?
Usually I take a deep breath and try to melt into the couch, wall, or wherever I happen to be at the time. I choose to not deal with it. This isn't helpful because the next time I have to do it all over again. The article offered up another solution. Try to find something about the person to celebrate. By finding the good in someone you become compassionate toward them and then your relationship changes and ultimately you look at all relationships differently. Whatever you dislike in someone is also present in you. What??? Seriously??I really took the time to think about it and found that it is totally true. Most of the time I don't reveal these traits but I do have my moments. Remembering this is key.
I have been known to try and "one up" others, convert others to my way of thinking, procrastinate and openly judge others. I'm sure some people are just as stressed out when I'm in the room. If you don't find this kind of communion in your own life then you aren't looking hard enough. Trust me. After reflecting, I could probably complete a book based solely on things I do that I condemn others for doing.
There is a lesson(s) to learn in every relationship if you just dig a little deeper. You will thank yourself for it later.