April 12th 2010 - Given the choice, most people probably want to be both right and happy. They may even believe that feeling in the right will give them the happiness they seek, but it rarely seems to work that way.
On-going relationships with other people, whether they be co-workers, family members or friends, bring to life a third entity - the relationship itself. Keeping that entity flourishing requires a willingness to put the needs of the relationship before your own interests a good bit of the time.
I often talk about the importance of making yourself happy and of putting your needs at the top of the list, so it may come as a surprise to hear me seemingly say the opposite. However, I don’t think the two are necessarily antithetical.
It IS your responsibility, and no-one else’s, to take good care of yourself. When you put yourself first, you ARE serving the needs of others, because you are filling yourself up so that there is a reserve from which to give yourself away.
Some people give and give until they are dried up and empty and then wonder why they are so burnt out and unhappy. Following your bliss, as Joseph Campbell calls it, allows you to be your best self and to show that self to the world.
One of the easiest ways to know whether you are indeed following your bliss or just selfishly running roughshod over others, is to put your desires through your value system and see how they look.
If you esteem kindness or family togetherness, how do your dreams look in light of those values? Yes, it is your job to make yourself happy, but if you have to live and work with others, pursuing your own needs must be in balance with the needs of the relationship in order for it to survive. Can you truly be happy in an on-going state of conflict, even if you are getting your way?
It is impossible to be in a satisfying relationship with someone if you are judging them. Insisting that you are right, and that therefore, the other person is wrong, may give you a feeling of superiority, but also, ultimately, the feeling of being alone.
Are you more interested in fostering your connectedness or in demonstrating your individual prowess or wisdom? Will some catastrophe occur if the “rightness” of your opinion is not recognized? If not, maybe a compromise can be reached, or someone else's view can be pursued this time. Maybe you can agree to take turns.
We live in a competitive world, and many good things come from individuals striving to be the best, but a certain dividedness can come from it as well when we start to believe that our way is the only way. Sometimes, it’s absolutely imperative to exert your point of view, but most often another solution or perspective will do just as well.
For personal or professional relationships to thrive, there must be some deference to the relationship itself. This is true whether you have chosen the relationship or it has been thrust upon you, such as in the case of a relative or co-worker. It might be momentarily fun to put an annoying twit in their place, but what happens when you have to interact with that person again? Was the relationship harmed or improved by the interaction?
The next time you find yourself in a conflict, ask yourself, “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?”
Laura Luykx has been a life coach since 2006 and is certified by the International Coach Federation. She studied in Sonoma, CA with Dave Ellis in the Falling Awake model of coaching. This style is very non-directive and is intended to assist the client to discover what will make them happy today and in the long range future, and to trust their own inner-knowing. As you fill yourself to overflowing you are in the best position to give yourself to others.
Contact her at (336)416-0606 or send an email. Visit the website at greatdoor.net
GreatDoor Shamanic Soul Work and Coaching
Frisco, Texas 75034