Every time I am talking with my friends, at one point or another, the conversation goes to our respective families. We always have a new story to share with guilt, emotional blackmail, or anger in it. It’s amazing to see how the family theme is always the most intensive subject!
I am blogging on the topic for a year now, so it feels normal for me to play the expert. I have read, and have written on many ways to get out of our emotional vortex, so I repeat the solutions I am familiar with about changing our perspective on things, refusing to let anger manage our lives and health, and not letting others drive us nuts.
Okay, maybe sometimes, I can sound a little like the annoying friend who knows it all.
Then, my friends will say to me: It’s easy for you to say such a thing, your family lives 6000 km from you.”
Of course, even if I feel like I am really progressing on my own vortex, I have to admit, they are right.
In August, I will travel abroad and spend two weeks over there. Hopefully I will find the answer to my own question:
– What are going to be your reactions facing your family then, miss smart buoy blogger?
The other day on the phone with my dad, I couldn’t help my vivid tongue go back to its old automatic answer and I made a sharp comment.
– She is very nice, he said. But, sometimes she is very stubborn!
– No she is not. She’s just plain nasty.
My dad had the usual reflex of his to pretend that nothing ever happened, and switched the conversation to a more neutral subject.
Snap! I did it again. I couldn’t help having this unfair feeling scratching inside my stomach and this uncomfortable frustration squishing my heart.
Why is it so easy for me to be upset with just a simple sentence when my only answer should be, “who cares?”
When I was talking with Amy Arvary, founder of Conscious Style, I realized how much our thoughts and reactions are conditioned by our environment. We have lost control of them by the force of old habits and reflexes.
My automatic responses with some people are always negative, defensive or aggressive. I have to change that, not because they don’t deserve it or they are family members, but because it is not good for me. When I go down that road, I am always impatient, anxious with a bad backache, and in a simple situation I can turn hysterical. This is not who I am. I know it’s pointless and tiresome to try to change others, or try to make them happy. Why should they change? They are who they are. I just have to remember that I am who I am, and that I am the only one who can change my reactions.
During our conversation, Amy offers some tricks to help us. We need to find a positive image to swap with our negative responses.
So now, I am looking for my own positive image to take with me and use as a change of tune for my thoughts.
When some people try to put me down, or I feel that nothing is working the way I want to, instead of thinking this
I need to switch to this
When I think I just want to slap some faces and kick some butts like this guy
I have to switch to a gentler yet efficient way to defend myself, like this woman
When I think about meeting with some people, instead of this automatic reaction
I have to see myself like this
And my automatic response to upsetting things has to change
I guess now I have to practice it.
I will see in a month the effects.
Stay tuned… on a positive note!
The pictures are from the movie Mulan, Disney, and the paintings are Guernica by Picasso and landscape by Chen Chun Zhong