Through a few recent "epiphanies", the seemingly-obvious-yet-somehow-not realization hit that my goal of everyone treating me the way I deserved, the way I treated them, was not coming to fruition, and probably never will. So, I've decided to work on a human experiment. Don't worry, this isn't the Matrix. It's not something that requires some sci-fi-like life changing decision on the part of the subjects. Instead, I'm actually doing this to try to change my attitude. Because it's taken me 33 years to finally, finally realize, that I can't change theirs. I decided to take a "what if" approach, to see what can happen if I change my interactions with others instead of getting stuck in the same rut.
- I tried to look at why someone was acting the way they are from a different angle instead of expecting them to act the way I hoped? Maybe I'm interpreting their actions one way when they mean to portray something else? Sometimes I honestly think I give people way too much credit for being deep and profound when really they're not thinking much about what they're doing/saying at all!
- I smiled and said hi to everyone that frustrated me. Maybe I'm just in a rut with them, and it's me sending the wrong signals because of that?.*
- I gave them the "fresh start" I always hope people will give me? If a friendship/relationship is stuck, and you want to improve it, one of you has to start the reboot. I might have to be the one give them the clean slate instead of the reverse. In doing so, I might actually be providing the clean slate for myself as well.
- I stepped back and looked at my expectations. Am I expecting them to be someone they never will? That's my fault, not theirs.
- I stepped out of my comfort zone? I am a brave person, but I am very afraid of rejection and embarrassment, as I've written about in the past. But I might have to risk it to get past a rut or to get someone to open up. A friend recently told me, "well if you wanted to be included next time we do xyz, just tell us." Of course my response was, "No! I don't always want to ask. You should think to include me!" There I go again giving people too much credit....
- I stepped back or away temporarily? If people know they can treat you however they want and you keep coming back for more, they'll do it. It you' I'm not saying stamp off in a huff. I'm saying people can't miss what's never gone. I think this is a last ditch effort, but some situations might require it.