Fighting with Those You Love: Finding Common Ground

Some people exhibit a pattern of putting themselves into difficult situations and then blaming others for their failures.

Perhaps they begin a relationship based on what they imagine their partner could be – his or her ‘potential’. Perhaps they accept a job that is not a good fit, but they maintain a fantasy of what the job could be. Maybe they start a project that’s far beyond their skills or budget. In each case, they have set themselves up for failure, but angrily blame their partner, boss or the world.

This cycle of self-inflicted anger can be stopped – if we seek help. Instead of hurting ourselves or others, we can learn to express our feelings and ideas. We can learn ways of relating to others without causing pain. We can turn our anger into a constructive force in our lives.

Most human beings want similar things—happiness, health, love, and freedom from financial worry, to name a few. Even when we differ in our ways to get what we want, we can remind ourselves of our common desires. Below are some suggestions to how to find common ground:

* Remember that your peace of mind is yours. No one disturbs it unless you give away your power to them.

* Keep in mind that your goal is to have harmony in your relationships.

* Before speaking, ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve?”

* Evaluate your intentions. Are you communicating to connect or to injure?

* Would you rather be right or happy? Be willing to let go of your need to be right.

* Reevaluate your expectations of others. When you stop trying to change others, you can be more open and loving.

* Affirm to yourself daily that you are a good person. Good people care. It’s hard to care, it’s easy not to give a shit. You deserve love and happiness in your life as much as we all do. Don’t settle for the crumbs when you want the cake.

* Respectfully ask for time to sit down to negotiate the problem.

Use this formula to express yourself:
1. When I saw/heard (concrete action).
2. I felt sad/hurt, worried, angry.
3. I would like (concrete action).
4. Can we work this out together?

We don’t always recognize our own anger. But when other people withdraw from us, or ask us why we’re so angry or what we’re so mad about, they’re giving us a useful sign that we should be paying attention. When we see the damage and pain that comes from self-sabotage, perhaps it’s time to talk with a counselor who specializes in anger issues.

Click to visit original source at PsychCentral

Shared by: Aaron Karmin, LCPC, Contributing Blogger

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