Tuesday, June 5, 2012
In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy suggests "all happy families are alike." Unfortunately this is not true - no two families are alike. Family dynamics take years to develop. Wherever we go, we take our family baggage with us. It's always packed and ready to go! When families merge, the experiences that each person brings to the relationship are different but loaded. Who we are in the present is based on our experiences as children. Our frame of reference is always familial; everyone's expecations are different. What do we do when we see things through other lenses? How can we reconcile when viewpoints differ? Certain respones trigger negativity and anger - specifically "you're wrong," "no," "why did you do that?" are just a few.
For some, hurt feelings build up and come out as anger. Some people say nothing but feel resentful and hurt. Less is always more; what you don't say speaks volumes. "I" messages allow us to express our own feelings without placing blame on another. It helps to take a step back and think about how you want to approach the situation. A helpful excercise is to write down your angry thoughts on paper. This gives you personal relief and a chance to reevaluate the situation. Negative thoughts can bring you down. Always try to keep an open mind and believe that things can get better and have a positive outcome - because they can!