One of our basic human desires is to have connection with others. That could be with parents, friends, the opposite sex etc. We humans need each other and find joy in connecting with others. When it comes to relationships, we often look to the other person to make us happy or for the other person to do something to help us feel a certain way. And so we put a lot of expectation into the other person hoping they will act as we hope. This can cause a lot of misunderstanding and frustration in relationships. So if we want to build better relationships, what do we need to do?
There is a concept called "The Manual" and it is really important for us to understand so that we can have better relationships. For example, when you buy a new appliance, it comes with a manual. This manual tells us everything about the appliance, how it should work, what it will do, and what to do if it doesn't work perfectly. Essentially this manual helps us totally understand this appliance and how it should act. Well, in relationships, we have manuals for each other too! What do I mean? When we create a relationship with someone, we have certain manuals, or expectations of how they should act. And we are happy as long as they do what our manual says, but when they don't... We are frustrated. Let me illustrate... so when I got married, I had a manual (subconsciously) for my husband. I had certain things that he should do as a husband, how he should act etc. I'll never forget the first little argument we got in to. It was over the dishes. Now in my manual (which came from my own home and experience with my dad), the husband does the dishes. Period. If wife cooks the meal, husband does dishes. That is what my manual said. So one night, I cooked a nice meal, he got up, put his dish in the sink, and went to the couch to watch football. I was ticked! Then the drama started. Why didn't he follow my manual? Good husbands show gratitude for a yummy meal, by seeing that I'm tired and that if he would do the dishes, it would make me happy. I made it mean he didn't love me... didn't appreciate me... didn't care that I made him dinner.... do you see what my brain did? It created all this drama. So I slowly walked over to him and asked him why he didn't do the dishes? He said, "I don't know? Do you want me to do the dishes?" What kind of a question was that? Well it turned into a fight and I went to bedroom mad and he did the dishes. What happened really? I had a manual that said he should do the dishes and he had no idea that I expected him to do the dishes. Was it fair for me to expect that from him when he had no idea?
So this happens a lot in relationships of every kind. We believe certain people should act a certain way, and if they don't we build a ton of drama around it. When in reality, it has nothing to do with us, and they didn't even know the expectation. So how can we remedy this? Drop the manuals and communicate. So for our husbands, what if we just loved them, and then if we want them to help with the dishes, tell them in a kind way. And then if they don't do it, we don't need to make it mean anything about us. We shouldn't base our happiness upon whether or not they follow our manual. It creates so many problems in relationships. Truly loving someone is accepting someone for who they are and how they are. So does that mean we don't have any expectations? Of course not! We can have expectations, but we just can't base our happiness on whether or not they do what we think they should. So communicate, and tell each other what we would like, and then LOVE the other person unconditionally no matter what. It's such a better way to have good relationships!
If you would like more information about the manual, or you have questions for me or need further help, please go to Directyourlifecoaching.com. You can find information to work with me through a mini session and learn how to love people with no manual. You'll be so glad you did!