Download a free chapter of my new book: The Happier Approach
Recently a client said to me, “I finally figured out whenever I am complaining about someone else not giving me what I need. First, I have to look and see if I am giving it to myself. And if I am not giving to myself I need to start there.”
She was sharing about how overwhelmed she was feeling and that she repeatedly kept getting frustrated at her husband. Didn’t he see how overwhelmed she was?!?! She just needed him to back off and give her a break! Later, she realized how much she wasn’t giving herself a break. How hard she was pushing herself and driving herself. Her husband was not the cause of her overwhelm, she was. Whenever we start noticing our frustration at others building the first place is to start with ourselves.
“I am so tired of not being heard!” Are you listening to yourself or are you ignoring your inner voice calling for a break?
“I am so tired of no one appreciating what I am doing” Do you appreciate all you are doing or do you just keep hammering yourself to get more done?
We do it all the time, look to others to give us what we aren’t giving ourselves. We want others to appreciate us but we don’t appreciate ourselves. We want others to listen to us but we don’t listen to ourselves. We want others to love our bodies but we HATE our bodies. We want others to give us a break when the last thing we ever give ourselves is some love and kindness.
And we take it one step further; we take the stuff we are beating ourselves up about and we project it on someone else. So we make a gigantic story that someone is disappointed in us when in reality we are disappointed in ourselves.
I did it recently, I had told myself and my husband I would pull the weeds in the back yard. But it never happened. So I kept telling myself what a lazy person I was and how my husband was so disappointed in me that I hadn’t done it yet. I thought to myself, I wish he would back off about the gardening…I just haven’t gotten to it yet (side note he NEVER mentioned the weeds or the garden)
As I headed out to the garden, I said to my husband, “I am headed outside to finally pull those weeds I promised I would last weekend. Sorry, I didn’t get to it earlier, I know it has been driving you crazy”. My husband looked at my and said, “What weeds?! I didn’t even notice that you hadn’t done it.” Here I had been beating myself up for days about the weeds and my Mongers had told me what a terrible person I was and how annoyed my husband was at me about it. I had built this HUGE story in my head that my husband was annoyed about the weeds and was upset that I hadn’t pulled them when I said I was going to do it seven days before. And in reality, he didn’t even notice I hadn’t done what I said I would. He wasn’t monitoring me or my weed pulling! I WAS the one who was beating myself. I was the one who was hammering myself for not following through. For not getting my chores done for not being true to my word. I put my negative thoughts about myself all over him. It is a sneaky little way that our wily mongers show up in our lives and convince us we are terrible people.
So the next time you notice yourself thinking “Ugh, I wish they would…” Ask yourself am I giving this to myself? Am I treating myself with grace and compassion?
And if you are and you still wish your husband would step in and do more then lovingly ASK. Speak up for yourself and ask the need. When we are appreciating all we are and all we are doing, asking for that need comes from a place of kindness and respect rather than bitterness and resentment. It all Starts with Speaking Your Needs.