Journey of Self Improvement
I have been on a journey over the past year to improve my health and relationships. I joined Self Coaching Scholars which is part of The Life Coach School, an online community where you can get private or group coaching on overeating, over drinking, how to feel better, or how to become an entrepreneur and more. I have talked about my weight loss journey but today I want to talk about relationships and how judgment affects them.
I especially wanted to improve my relationships with my 2 adult children. I have no problem speaking my mind and telling my kids and others what to do or how to act. But young adults and other people do not really like that and who can blame them? I realized they felt judged by me and that was straining our relationship.
Manual of Expectations
The problem is the expectations or “manual” we have of how other people should feel and act. These are unspoken, the other person has no idea of these expectations. They are all the thoughts in our brain but we think they should know them and act accordingly. When they don’t, then we take it personally and that is where judgment takes over.
I realized that judging myself and others is a choice and related to the thoughts I was having. It caused myself and others pain. But how do you change what has now become a habit of automatically judging?
I learned to become a curious observe of my own thoughts about what other people do and say instead of just reacting. Instead of automatically getting mad when a car cuts me off or my kids don’t call or text me back, I step out of my head and think, oh that’s interesting, they must be in a hurry or they must be busy and let it go. This takes practice with lots of failures but it helps a lot.
I am learning to let go of the manual of expectations for my husband, kids, Dad, siblings and others. Awareness is key. Now when I become aware of judging myself and others, I choose love instead.
Adults can do and say what they want and we cannot change them or control them (as much as we would like to). We only have control over how we think, feel and act. My favorite thought to replace a judgmental thought is:
(Name) _____________ is doing the best they can right now and so am I.
I am not perfect but judging myself and others is not so automatic anymore.