This is a short summary of two videos I’ve added to my Relationships 301 and Life Without Strife series and should be recording soon. It’s critical to dealing with any obstacle to your goals to be a happy and healthy human and in happy and healthy relationships.
Whenever we have identified an obstacle to our life and relationship goals we have three choices on how to move forward. Once you understand the implications behind each choice, making a productive choice becomes easier.
Option one – You can choose to not do anything productive and and remain emotionally upset over the situation. This is the choice the vast majority of people choose when confronted with an obstacle. This is the option where an individual chooses to complain about a situation without wanting to actually change the situation. We all have seen others, and likely ourselves choose this option (Most times not consciously aware this is what we are choosing).
Option two – We can choose to view the situation in a different manner that allows us to no longer see it as an obstacle to our goals. This usually takes a lot of rational thinking about a situation. For example – Your wife got drunk with friends and ends up in bed with someone not you. You can choose to see this as a one time error in judgement by her and choose not to be emotionally upset over the situation, but instead, use the activating event as a lesson to both you and her on making better choices towards your mutual goal of having a happy and healthy relationship. Or a lessor example: You might be upset about not getting the promotion you worked hard for. Instead of thinking about the event in a way that leads to unproductive emotions – bitterness and resentment – you could choose to instead focus on the things you love about your job and vow to work toward the next chance at promotion.
Option three – You can choose to change your circumstances. You could choose to leave the wife or leave the job. You can choose to no longer associate with a friend or family member. You can choose to opt our of dealing with the situation all together by changing the circumstances.
So how does one know which option to choose?
Well option one should be reserved for those that honestly don’t care to achieve their goals to be in a happy and healthy relationship and have a happy and healthy life.
So it really comes down to option two or three if we want to achieve our goals.
Option three should only be taken if option two isn’t going to realistically have a chance of success. In the examples above, if that wife has no interest in working toward a mutual goal of being in a happy and healthy relationship with you. In the second example, if your supervisor is hell bent on working against your goal of being happy and healthy at work.
Generally I advice everyone to try option two first. Find a way to think about an activating event that won’t cause emotional distress. One can always try this option first, and then seeing that it isn’t working, work toward option three.
I will speak more of these options with many more examples in my Relationships 301 and Life Without Strife videos on this subject. Be sure to watch!