My friend told me about a book that saved her relationship with a bristly personality of a spouse. I’ve asked her to send me the information, as it sounds like a great book to read. I’ll definitely pass it along when I get it!
I know we all do things that trigger a negative response from others. I get that all the time. Sometimes, it catches us off guard, OR we find it easy to blame them for upsetting us. I get that from my mom, she feels that everytime I ask a question I’m telling her everything she is doing wrong. I’m asking a question to find out what she wants to do, what is more important to her, and how she wants to handle certain situations, but she assigns a motive to me, that of being judgmental. I get so frustrated that it’s easy to get caught in the ‘I’m right, You’re wrong’ trap. She can never know my motive,however, she can assume based off how she interprets the situation. I could ask another person those same questions, and they would take them as a loving, caring, act, hearing me and answering them with gratitude versus judgement. It’s difficult, I know! My defenses come down and I simply want to scream at her to get my point across; yea, how well do you think that would go over? I know, right! I can still grumble, I can still be frustrated, I can still NOT want to have any conversations with my mom, BUT all those are on me, not her. I know we ALL have those situations; now what do we do about them? No one can tell us how we feel, we must become aware of how we feel and learn the correct tools to deal with them. First tool I offer is, self-care. It may take a bit longer but it’s worth it. I meditate, I ground myself, I surround myself with emotional acceptance and self-love. This is how I heal from the abrasions of a prickly personality.
Life is stressful and adding the stress of judgement doesn’t make it easier. Judegment is like adding salt to my wounds.
I added this picture from me.me to show how easy it is to dismiss prickly personalities, those judgmental people who decide they know better than you, WHY you do what you do, or say what you say. I call this, assigning a motive. It’s unfair, and our flight/fight gets trigger and defenses arise (like screaming to get my point crossed!) And we wonder, why relationships are so hard at times!
During childhood, we learned coping skills. How to deal with the emotions that came up, and/or how to handle negative situations. Disappointment is planted when we didn’t get our way. Frustration grows when we felt we were treated unfairly. Anger is nourished when we were told why we did something and that just wasn’t true. Feeling stupid or like a big failure is validated, when we did something wrong and was told about it over and over. Feeling like we are never enough sinks deeper, because our shortcomings are thrown in our face everyday. These coping skills go with us throughout life. In our jobs, these feelings come up again when a boss disciplines us, or a co-worker assigns a motive, based on how they feel. In relationships, a child ignores you, or a spouse isn’t supportive. It’s way easy to understand why we blame!
It’s a beautiful thing when we have someone, a friend, a spouse, a co-worker, a child, a parent….someone who KNOWS your heart. Knows the intent behind your words and actions. They understand and accept you, no matter what. They don’t have to like everything you do, but they accept you with all your flaws and mistakes. My husband is like that, and I pray my children will be those people in my life. I also have great friends!
Even with all the good, the one difficult, prickly personality over rides the good. Let’s take a better look at the bristly outer layer of the personality. Take a look beneath and into their heart. Maybe they just haven’t learned mature coping skills. Maybe, they hold beliefs like,
How can life change? I can’t go back and undo the hurt
I stay here at a distance to watch what happens
I’m not sure I like me, why would you?
What I do know is that all the prickly defenses that show up are really a call for Love. A call for love their way, not our way! Each time we dismiss them, each time we ignore them, each time we assign a motive of being difficult, it validates the negative beliefs in their mind. These negative beliefs confirm no one likes them, that they are not lovable, and why all the hurt in their life defines them.
Just for today, allow yourself to see into their heart. No one has a bad heart (so please don’t assign that to them), they may have their inner light dimmed, and maybe asking for help in the only way they know how.
For you, here’s a quote that I hope offers comfort:
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”- Napoleon Hill
Just for today, listen with your heart.
In the end, you’ll realize, it’s a good life!
Blog Disclosure: I am not going to sugar coat the crap - I'll be swearing, I like my Hells and Damns, and may become overly sarcastic. If you are offended at the raw realness of navigating in this swamp of social media and life, then move on. I'm not going to sensor my posts, so IF I offend you, simply put, you reading my posts is on you! If you want to impose a motive on me, for why I say what I say, feel free because I don't accept them. p.s. I'm not an English major, so do me a favor, don't share all the mistakes I've made! I make mistakes, I live with them so you can too!