Many years ago before I had gained even a hint of wisdom, my wife said to me after we had a fight “Mark you are playing the victim now and you are trying to victimize me by what you are doing and how you are acting.” She said this because I had begun to pout and give her the silent treatment. I was playing the victim but–and here is the big point–what I was really doing was attempting to victimize her.
Of course being a young macho man then I quickly denied it all but as my mind kept turning it over and over I began admitting to myself that she was right—ouch! Finally after a few days of this, I went to her and apologized. I told her that she was absolutely correct, that I was trying to make her feel bad by acting like I was so very hurt.
As I looked back I could see that I had done that many time before and I also realized that not only was that behavior hurting our relationship but it was deeply hurting me. Many, if not most, adults do this. I would venture to guess that most of us don’t even fully realize what we’re doing.
Once you stand back and observe yourself (and others) and fully understand the concept and what is really happening, then and only then can you stop this harmful behavior. For most of us that may be hard to do but what is so bad about saying “Hey, I was wrong and I am sorry”?
In fact, try this … next time you get into a battle with your spouse, kids, friends, boss, employees or whomever, say to yourself “Hey pal, get over yourself! Maybe I am wrong. We are all right sometimes and we are all wrong sometimes.” And ask yourself why does it matter if you are right? Most things are not that important.
Do that often and you’ll see that your stress level will drop dramatically and as a big bonus –your relationships will take a huge leap upwards!