So I’m on a family vacation.
Now depending on what kind of family you have, you either just went “aww” or “ugh”.
It’s been interesting for me! My brother and I are both adults now (I use this word very lightly so take it with an ocean’s worth of salt) so we can resolve just about any issue without calling each other a butthead (though I like to call him that sometimes just to keep things young and fresh.) and I’d like to think my parents have also matured a bit too. So far it’s been three days of us co-living and sharing in a stress free environment.
We took a 12-hour roadtrip to get to Brownsville, Texas from San Miguel de Allende and let me tell you, that could be the perfect recipe for disaster to be 12 hours in a car with anyone.
Which is why at the very beginning of the trip, I set an intention. I told myself, I was not going to assume that things would go badly. Instead I was going to put forth positive and relaxing energy, and I would see what I got back. I didn’t let myself get discouraged by the grumpiness that ensued (it was six o’ clock in the morning, after all, we were up before the sun and our family isn’t exactly known for being cheerful morning people.) and simply gave myself what I expected from my family.
I thought to myself it was unfair to expect them to give me something that I myself wasn’t putting forth. This got to me to think about how that could work in other family-like dynamics, such as groups of friends. I believe we treat our friends many times with much more slack than we treat our family. There’s a lot of factors as to why this is, but one of them is that there isn’t the same pressure with friends as there is with your family. If a friend treats you badly, you can always unfriend them. Disowning family is a little more complicated.
What happens if we remove that pressure, however? After all, our parents and siblings are human beings that evolve, mature, and learn just like our friends, just like ourselves.
What happens if we continue to give them the benefit of the doubt, and the many chances we give our friends? I bet you that what would happen is that your family would feel a lot more like your friends.
So next time you’re in a group where you feel unsatisfied with what you’re getting, observe your behavior. What are you putting forward?
What comes out of your mouth? Do you criticize and complain or cherish and appreciate?
How are YOU contributing to the mood of the group?
Think about it!