Have you ever considered that if others perceive you as being angry, or sad, or aloof, and you insist that you are not, then it is up to you to change the demeanor you are projecting. The more in control we are of ourselves, the less controlling we will be of others. Even though it may seem difficult we can learn to control or thoughts. It's all in predetermining what to think about and then periodically monitoring if we are on track.
Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do… Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Phil. 4:5-8 TLB
Do your thoughts measure up? If the answer is “No”, then change your mind.
YES YOU CAN control your prejudices. Prejudice is defined as a preconceived opinion, usually unfavorable, unquestioned, unjustified and unreasonable bias or disregard of a person or thing The way to control it is to challenge your preconceived ideas. Challenge your assumptions. Do you want truth, or what you have been taught? Everyone is both flawed and fabulous. There may be a reason to dislike a person, but the package deal is not one of them (i.e. skin color, handicapping condition, financial status, job selection, nationality, creed, etc.)
YES YOU CAN control your bigotry. A bigot is defined as being narrow-minded, obstinate and intolerably devoted to his/her own beliefs, creed or party. Do not allow these to be fighting world in our present political arena. These are usually beliefs that have never been challenged, but passed down from one generation to another. Open your mind, and this is a do-it-yourself project, no one can give you a new perspective on life unless you are willing to receive it.
YES YOU CAN control your demeanor. If someone continually asks you, “Wha's wrong?” and you insist that “Nothing is wrong”, then one of two things is happening. 1) Something really is wrong and you are not honest enough to admit it, or, 2) nothing is wrong, but you have not alerted your face to this fact. If others perceive you as being angry, sad, aloof, etc., and you insist that you are not, then it is up to you to change the demeanor you are projecting. Having a pleasant expression is a choice.
FAST TRACT TO CHANGE. The biggest complaint is, “It is so hard. I don’t feel like I can change my attitude or _______ (you fill in the blank).” Emotions follow actions and thoughts, not the other way around. Change the way you think and act and you automatically change the way you feel. Switch the thinking from "It's so hard" to "It's not easy." That one simple switch gives the brain energy to do switch from assessing the problem as difficult.
FIRST, change your language. Instead of calling some an ugly name, or referring to them by a prejudiced or bigoted title, keep quiet. Bite your tongue if need be, but be silent. It is impossible to feel kindly toward someone if you are calling him a jerk.
SECOND, change your actions. Instead of pacing, sit down. Instead of flailing your arms, or making obscene gestures, put your hands in your pocket. Instead of yelling, speak in a whisper. The more extreme your negative reactions are now, the more extreme the initial softening measures are needed. It is easier to act yourself in to feeling differently, than it is in feeling yourself into acting differently. Feelings follow actions. Actions stir up feelings.
THIRD, change your thoughts. Instead of condemning someone for their rash behavior, realize you do not know what hurts – past or present – is driving this person to be so irresponsible.
Which leads us to number FOUR, which is automatic: feelings change as your develop compassion. Compassion is realizing the humanness of all human beings, yourself included. When you overreact, give yourself a break and get back in effective control of your life.
Need personal coaching to do so? Contact me. Mona Dunkin firstname.lastname@example.org