Today I want to talk about something that’s come up time and time again this past week with my coaching, and that is assigning meaning.
Our brains are great storytellers, and we believe most of what we think, it’s just part of being a human being. We assign meaning to events that happen, things people say or do…and we do it in an effort to try to make things make sense.
Sometimes the meaning we assign comes from the beliefs we were raised with and other times we assign meaning that comforts us or justifies the way we feel…
We often believe we know what’s best for other people, so when we perceive they are making a mistake, we make it mean that they are doing it wrong, will have hard consequences, or that it is somehow a problem… and sometimes we’re right… and other times we’re wrong.
When our partner doesn’t follow the manual we have for them, we make it mean all kinds of things…
-They don’t really love us.
– They’re rude and inconsiderate.
– They have bad manners or were raised poorly.
-They are choosing something else over us… we’re unimportant.
-They aren’t committed to our marriage… and on and on and on.
Our relationship with our partner exists in our minds.
It is what we think about our partner that determines our level of happiness and satisfaction in the relationship. Not what they say or do!
So here’s what I suggest if you want to be happier:
Since we have the choice to assign meaning, no matter how your partner behaves, (within normal limits) Make it mean that they love you…
When your partner gets angry or emotional.. Make it mean that it’s because they love you…we experience strong emotion when it feels like there is a lot on the line… you are the most important relationship in their life… if they didn’t care, it wouldn’t bother them.
If your partner lies about something small… make it mean that they care about the relationship and they are worried about losing you…We can all understand feelings of insecurity. Can you find some compassion instead of anger when you make it mean they love you?
If your Partner pesters you to talk… make it mean that they want to connect with you… they want to feel close… They’re not trying to annoy you, – make it mean that they love you.
If your partner has a full life outside of you and you find yourself feeling resentful, can you make it mean that they trust in your love, that they feel secure in your relationship? Can you make it mean they love you and trust you, and appreciate that you give them the freedom to live a life that is authentic to them?
If we have a choice, -and we do!.. Why torture ourselves by making it mean anything negative at all?
Consider what happens when we do. We get upset, we get angry, we withdraw or react in a way that creates separation.
When we make it mean something negative, we damage the relationship.
On the other hand, when we make it mean that they love us… we FEEL good! We speak and act in a loving way. We create connection instead of distance, and we make it a whole lot easier for our partner to think loving thoughts about us!
WIN WIN! Like Mikie says, “Try it, you’ll like it!” –Yea I think I just totally dated myself…