Dealing with Unacceptable Character in Others
Have you ever noticed yourself getting resentful when somebody takes charge of a situation and hands you a heavy load of responsibility?
Recently, a client shared a situation with me. Her husband said something like, “We have a lot to do before we go on vacation so you need to make a list of everything we need and get it all packed tonight. Oh, and go buy the groceries we need when you pick the kids up from school. I have to confirm the reservations and make sure the truck is ready to hit the road. We will leave first thing in the morning so be sure to get the kids in bed early.”
If my husband were to say that to me I might not only be feeling overwhelmed but a bit resentful as well. The weight of that given responsibility would not only feel a bit heavy but also a little unbalanced.
When packing for any trip there are usually unforeseen challenges that arise so packing for an entire family holds that threat with no more than a day’s notice. A discussion could help to prevent some of that.
Getting to the school on time would dictate the way I orchestrate the rest of my day and the grocery shopping would be much easier without having to keep up with three tired, hungry kids. I’d have to make the list, get out the door, and to the grocery store before school gets out. Then hurry home, fix dinner, clean up the kitchen, get bathes and get the kids in bed before I can even begin packing.
The day would be rushed and the night would be long. The stress is mounting just thinking about getting it all done so I can get to bed too.
There is really no way around the extra demands on one's time or energy when it comes to taking family trips. However, when negative feelings like resentment is added to that stressful load it does not have to weigh you down, robbing you of even more time and energy. Arrest that thief by spending a little bit of time and energy to NEGOTIATE.
Unfortunately, many people do not take that time but ignorantly pack the negative emotion in with the rest of the luggage, allowing it to negatively weigh on what could otherwise be a great trip.
This negative emotion presents itself because of the clashing points of view of the one dishing out the responsibilities and the one receiving the distribution of such.
So, rather than to pack these negative feelings take the time to not only share your point of view but also hear the reasoning behind the other person's view. When you do that you NEGOTIATE. Practice negotiating!
Had my client understood how to share her view, she may have said something like, “It would really help if you could pick the kids up while you are out getting the truck washed, since it is right down the street from the school. I can make the list and go to the grocery this morning then get most of the packing done before the kids even get home. That way we could have an early dinner and all of us could get to bed early.”
Remember, when a negotiation begins it doesn’t mean it will be settled during the first attempt. Continue the negotiation process until both parties are satisfied with the settlement.
The client's husband may have then responded to his wife’s view by saying something like, “I have an appointment with the service department to rotate the tires about the same time the kids get out of school. So how about making the list and I’ll pick up the groceries after I confirm the reservations and then I'll go to my appointment. That would free you up in the morning to get things done before it is time to pick up the kids. We could still have an early dinner and get to bed at a decent hour. What do you think?”
It is easy to see what works best for us personally while others typically see only what works for them. So, rather than to pack the emotion or to see the other person in a negative light let that negative feeling serve as a reminder to NEGOTIATE.
(And keep a sweet spirit)