I remember at one time in my life having a very hard time in relationships.
When my romantic partners treated me the way I thought I should be treated I felt good. But when a romantic partner’s words or actions didn’t fit my ideas of what should happen in a good relationship, I was in pain.
I hurt because I took everything that was different from what I wanted or expected personally. In reaction to actions and words that did not fit my ideas of love, I wondered why I meant so little to the person who was supposed to love me. I wondered what was wrong with me, or possibly, what was wrong with him. Painful stuff.
Can you relate to this? Do you judge how your partner feels about you by the things he or she does or says? Of course you do! How else are you supposed to know what you mean to your partner?
Except there’s a problem with this. You can’t measure how a person feels about you, or about anyone, by judging their words or actions from your standpoint. You have to look at what their words and actions mean to them, from their standpoint.
Love is not a magic wand that somehow changes a person and makes him or her behave in a certain, prescribed, “loving” way. A person in love is not hugely different from that same person in their everyday life.
This means that if the person is cooperative and gets along well with others in his everyday life, he will be cooperative and get along with his relationship partner. But if the person is not a team player and more of an independent person, she will be the same in a romantic relationship, even when she is in love.
Your relationship partner is not you. He is his own person. What your partner does and says does not have the same meaning to him as it does to you. Realizing this difference was a game changer for me in my own relationships, and it can be a game changer for you.
One way this realization is a game changer, is that it can immediately change the level of emotional pain and stress in your relationships. Instead of taking your partner’s – or anyone’s – behavior or words personally, think to yourself, “If this person was in this sort of relationship with anyone else, they would do or say exactly the same thing. That means that how they are interacting with me is about them, not about me.”
As you work with this idea that your partner’s – and others – behavior is not personal, you can begin to become less vigilant and more relaxed in relationships. You will start to realize that people are not out to intentionally hurt you. This might help you become more compassionate and understanding towards others and their behavior.
You could even save the time and energy of trying to figure out why the people in your life do what they do and what it means. Instead, you could ask them what their behavior or words mean to them. As a result you will come to understand the people in your life better and feel more connected to them.
Here is the Key: Get to know the person in your life. What does he or she do naturally? How does he or she naturally show affection, love, appreciation, anger? These behaviors are what you can expect from him or her, even in love. Remember, love is not a magic wand that changes people. If you expect something different just because the person loves you, both of you will end up hurt and frustrated.
How would it be for you to become a person who doesn’t take your partner’s words and actions personally? If you want the freedom and relief that this game-changing perspective brings, schedule you Get Clarity Coaching Session now.