Pause and Ask Yourself

We’ve all had situations where we are struggling in our relationship with a person we closely interact with, be it through work, family, or some other community.  When we do, it’s easy to point at them and identify their faults, or how their actions are making the situation worse.  I think that a more productive thing to do might be to point our finger back at ourselves and instead identify what we’re doing to negatively contribute to the situation.

Ouch!!  That Smarts!

Personally, this is not my normal course of action.  It’s a challenge to put aside what I might be feeling toward the other person and take an honest look at the role I’m playing in the scenario.  It’s much easier to keep my focus off of me and on the other person and their actions, where I self-righteously feel it should be.

I’m working to get belter in these situations.  In doing so, I’ve found that a few questions I pose to myself usually bring a new perspective to the situation.  They are:

  • What role am I playing in this scenario and how it is negatively impacting the outcome?
  • If I were an impartial 3rd party, what would I say about my actions and behavior?
  • What thoughts or beliefs am I holding that may be having a negative impact?
  • Where is the other person right, or acting with proper motives?

These questions and others like them provide a moment to pause, step back and potentially see the scenario from a whole new perspective, giving us clarity and insight we might never have gained, had we not stopped to ask them.

The next time you find yourself getting fired up at another person, pause and ask yourself one or more of these questions.   You will likely find a new perspective and potentially, a path to a positive outcome.

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