Have you ever found yourself frustrated by someone else?
Could it be that you are doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results, and then ending up frustrated when the other person’s behavior is no different?
Who do you have to call you on your bullshit?
For several years I had my therapist. John. He was perfect for me. John was a no nonsense sort of therapist, who didn’t just listen. When I tried to pass off some perceived hurt I had as someone else’s fault, John was right there to tell me to get over myself. He helped me in many ways, but this week I remembered one particularly helpful discussion around my parenting and anger.
John had asked me once to describe the type of situation that would normally make me angry. I thought about how the few moments after I came home from work was a real trigger for me, on a daily basis. The demands from my ex, my kids, the dog, the dinner I still had to make, were almost immediate. The days when the kids were already arguing when I walked through the door were particularly hard, and that angry feeling came quickly.
I described the scenario to John and he just looked at me. He shook his head. He asked, “If your house is a madhouse on a daily basis when you come home from work, then why do you expect it to be anything else? Why do you expect to walk in the door with no demands being thrown at you? You are setting yourself up, on a daily basis, to be upset and angry. Change your expectation. Prepare yourself on the drive home to walk through that door ready for the behaviors you are most likely to see. Walk in emotionally ready to deal with the needs of your family.”
John helped. When we prepare ourselves to manage the behaviors that our children, and others, are struggling with, we set ourselves up for a more successful interaction.
John retired last year and moved to Rhode Island. My bullshit is starting to pile up. I need to start looking for a new therapist.
Who calls you out on your bullshit?