I am the worst offender when it comes to the following issue. It can literally break up any kind of relationship. It can harm the relationship you have with your man, mother, father, sibling, or friend.
A couple of weeks back, my husband (Hemal) and I had a squabble. This is how it went down…
Hemal came home from a final round interview for a new job position that he has been scoping out and wanting for a while. I asked him how it went.
He said, “It went GREAT! I was prepping all day and knew my stuff inside an out. I was ready to sell myself in the interview, and in the first 10 minutes they offered me a job to be the head of North America.” (I know sounds ‘smancy’!)
I was genuinely super duper happy for him and for us. But … (you knew the ‘but’ was coming, right?)
Hemal is literally one of the smartest people I know. When he walks into a room he has a presence. He doesn’t speak until he knows what he is talking about, and I feel like he doesn’t own that enough.
The operative word here is I. I have felt this for a while that he is worth so much more than he gives himself credit for. This is where the squabble comes in.
I say to him, “That is awesome!” But in the back of my mind I am thinking, “Why did he spend so much time trying to sell them? At his level he needs to be interviewing them, just as much as he is being interviewed.” Then I got consumed by that thought. I couldn’t be as happy as he really wanted me to be.
He was ecstatic because this position was almost everything he was looking for in a position. Then, of course, I had to go and say what I was feeling: “I knew you would get it. You didn’t have to prep all day. You could’ve interviewed them.” Basically I crapped all over his happiness. He was mad after I said that.
He goes, “Can’t you just be happy?”
I was stunned by the reaction, but also knew I caused it. I realized I broke the cardinal rule that Hemal and I abide by: Don’t want something for someone else more than they want it for themselves.
In that moment, I wanted Hemal to understand that he is worth more than he gives himself credit for. It was a great thought, however we all have this. What human being doesn’t under estimate their ability?
By me wanting him to get that more than he wanted to get it ruined the entire moment for him. He just wanted me to be happy with him about this ahhh-mazing news.
Wanting something for someone else more than they want it for themselves is dangerous territory; it can cause a break in connection. When one person is feeling one way and you try to push them into feeling another way, even if it is with the best of intentions, it is only going to leave you feeling frustrated and them feeling like you don’t get them.
When they are ready to feel what you know they are capable of, they will ask you a question or solicit your opinion. Until then, especially with the closest people in your life, it is not helpful to want something more for someone else than they want it for themselves.
This week’s lovework is:
Take an assessment of your relationships, and some of your frustrations with them. Is it because you want something more for someone than they want it for themselves?
If so, then it is time to create an intention that you know they are already living in a way that will get them to the solutions you desire for them.
For example, I want my brother to succeed in business. He says to me, “I am not succeeding,” and I see it. I am not helping him by just spouting out advice and telling him how he can succeed. Helping him involves whole heartedly believing he is already successful; that he is smart enough to figure out his path.
This is a real example. When I did this with my younger brother our entire relationships changed. Do this exercise. It will give you space to stop taking on everyone’s stuff. Know that they can handle themselves just like you do.
Let me know what your thoughts are on wanting to change someone badly.