Sunday, April 7, 2013

Frustration Will Not Win... I Will!

"You are not understanding what I am saying."  Frustration took over as I was trying to explain a situation to a friend.  "You are not listening." I tried to deliver my message in several different ways and my friend refused to understand my point.  I decided not to get angry and try to figure out what happened in the mix of our personalities, energy, or whatever  you want to call it that made it impossible to continue the conversation without getting angry.  I'm not a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist or counselor, so this is pure speculation based on my own observation.
  • My life experiences make me unique and even when I share an experience with you, we interpret it through our own lens and therefore, what can easily make me laugh will (and does) annoy others.  My husband and I had a conversation today about our diverse tastes in television shows.  He admittted that he was not a fan of my cooking shows (which I knew) and I am not a fan of his fascination with Tru TV's detective crime shows.  We share dour specific interests in the shows and I understand now why he loves to watch almost any cop show - reality or drama.
  • My anxieties and emotions of the day definitely impact another experience hours later, even days or months later.  While I try to leave the stress of either work or home in each place, I know that some days (maybe more than I would like to admit), I cannot.
  • My expectations (high or low) can change how you react, receive and learn from an event or experience in your life.  I try to be reasonable and practical when looking forward to a vacation, family event, or major milestone in our life.  This has been particularly interesting exercise and growth over the past year.  In February, when I was planning for my birthday, I only did what I wanted to do.  Rather than have a big party, I had a few very special dinners with friends and family.  Each dinner was a unique celebration, not because it was my birthday, but because of those I cherished around the table.  
As I learned from Carol Dweck's book, Mindset, I want to be in "growth" mindset as often as possible and stay out of "fixed" mindset.  This change to work and be with others (family, friends and colleagues) allows me to have more positive conversations, more productive meetings and definitely more fun exchanges with my friends.  When I listen carefully to what others are saying, manage both my emotions and my expectations, I am able to be clear about how to have a better and more joyful experience.

And my friend and I were able to come back together to hear each other.  And that makes me happy.

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