As a motivational speaker who talks a lot about what makes people happy and successful, it is CRYSTAL clear to me exactly what needs to happen in order for the world to run smoothly:
YOU need to give HIM the benefit of the doubt.
That IDIOTdriving 45 mph in the fast lane, needs to move over!
THAT clerk needs to smile and at least ACT like he’s happy I’m giving him my money.
SHE needs to shut up.
THEY need to include HER.
HE needs to lose that ridiculous ’70’s tie-dyed t-shirt.
MY HUSBAND should NOT eat that whole plate of french fries! (See attached photo)
And on and on and on.
We ALL have rules about the way the world SHOULD work. But here’s the problem. We ALL have rules about the way the world should work -AND a whole lot of our rules don’t match.
So, here’s my new rule: After we have our initial thought about “that’s wrong; he shouldn’t do that; she shouldn’t wear that, etc,” we start training ourselves to 1) stop and 2) immediately think, “MY rule, NOT hers.”
“Whoa. She should NEVER have said THAT!” Stop. My rule, not hers.
“He SHOULD have let ME have the first choice.” Stop. My rule, not his.
“Why in heaven’s name did she use THAT horrible color paint!!!” Stop. My rule. Clearly not hers.
Now here’s the deal. If the behavior that you are reacting to affects you directly, it is your perfect right to simply ask for a new behavior. But here’s the cool part – when you have NOT assigned a wrong/bad/stupd/idiotic motive behind that action – you won’t have some high emotional charge impacting your communication. You will have a neutral, relaxed, calm demeanor when you ask if they would simply do “x” instead of “y”. And that will increase the odds you will get what you are asking for.
So if you want to be happy, have fabulous relationships, and enjoy tremendous success in all areas of your life, then you should practice this technique… Wait…
Stop. My rule. Not yours…
Linda Larsen, Humorous Motivational Speaker
Helping people bring their finest, best & happiest self to life!