For the last two years, my brother has been going through a nasty separation/divorce process. It has been harrowing for two reasons: he is the first person to have gone through anything like this and he also is the first person who had a judge order a 50/50 split of matrimonial possessions between him and his ex-wife. (And yes, my friend, you do detect a hint of snark here.)
Being a product of my parent’s failed marriage, I have buckets of sympathy for all who go through the divorce process. And having learned some of the hard lessons about wedded bliss, I try hard not to impart my own opinions about what does and does not make a strong marriage and a good divorce. Sadly, I don’t get that bit right all the time.
I will let your imagination piece together the general direction of our conversations. Suffice it to say, my brother is the glass half-empty; I am the glass half-full.
Today, I want to delve into the glass part.
Last week, I realized when situations and conversations become emotional, the best thing we can do is to step back, detach ourselves from the situation and view it from its many different angles. Because just maybe, our own perspective is the real problem.
It’s important we pay attention to our own hidden beliefs and how they affect the way we think, feel, and act. And it is vital that we ask ourselves if WE are being fair to ALL involved.
Here’s the thing. The drama we feel so compelled to be drawn into is often our own. In other words, whatever the actions of others, our real challenge is to be nonreactive and to not take their words or behaviours personally.
Because their turbulence may have little to do with us. It may have everything to do with them. And when we realize that, there is NO half-empty half-full part. There is only the glass and the glass is called Perspective.
Here are a few very specific cases in point.
• Our prospects never become clients until they are ready. Not when WE are ready. When THEY are ready. And that is when we finally ‘get’ that our cash flow issues are just that. Ours. Not because of them. Because of us.
• We can all give the same message twenty different times. Yet for some reason, the 21st time is the day the other person finally ‘gets it’ and everything finally becomes crystal clear. Yet, it has nothing to do with them not ‘getting it.’ It has everything to do with the way we delivered it.
• One day a madman was honking madly and driving far too close to my rear bumper. I was royally pissed. Especially when he dangerously pulled out to pass me. His passenger (a frightened-looking woman) held up a hand-written sign, “We are in labour. He’s freaking.”
See? It isn’t always about who sees the world as a glass-half-empty or half-full. And it isn’t always about how WE see, feel or hear the world. Far too often it is about our perspective.
To save our sanity, our stress levels and our relationships, it is best if we remain neutral. Until we know more. Because our perspective may be quite different, in time.