Creating harmony in relationships
In my experience, relationships and interactions with others are some of the most challenging aspects of life. Apparently, I’m under the (false) impression that other people have similar principles to me, and I’m always terribly disappointed when I realise that it’s not the case.
While I like to think that I’m relatively tolerant and patient, I find it a challenge when people are inconsiderate, selfish or just plain unpleasant. For example, when I get bumped while sitting in an aisle seat, or I’m served without a smile or any hint of friendliness. Then there are those people who stop their car without pulling over, who join a Pilates or yoga class with dirty, smelly feet… The list goes on.
What inconsiderate people often don’t understand is that they are frequently the cause of much of the disharmony in their life. That’s why I believe that we need to make assessing our own behaviour and actions a priority. By being considerate of others, you can easily avoid creating conflict. Let me give you an example…
I was giving friends a lift recently and they asked me to pull over close to their destination. Had I stopped where I was asked to, I would have inconvenienced the drivers behind me and ignored a No Stopping sign, which was obviously there for a reason. So, instead of stopping traffic – and irritating my fellow motorists – I pulled over 50 metres up the road. Yes, it meant that my friends had to walk a little further, but it was good for them!
The funny thing is, I’ve mentioned this exact spot in a previous newsletter, when I described an incident where a driver did stop to drop off a passenger and ended up causing a huge fracas – a lot of stress for all involved as a result of one person’s inconsiderate actions!
Harmony has the power to make life far more joyful and I believe that the key to achieving it lies in making sure you’re not the one causing the problem.
If there is continuous drama in your life, assess whether or not you’re at the root of it. If the source of the drama is someone you’re in constant contact with, assess your interaction with that person instead. There are people I have chosen to steer clear of – some I love and some I dislike – as they have the ability to create havoc in their lives and the lives of those around them.
While I’ve learnt that most people don’t want to change, I’ve also learnt that the way you respond to people can change the outcome of a situation. The time I went to sort out my car registration plate comes to mind. When I got to the counter, the lady behind it barked that I’d picked the wrong ticket and that things were going to take a long time. Instead of responding in a similar manner, I said with a smile, “But I’m very patient,” at which point she smiled and became incredibly helpful.
I have no doubt that had I reacted badly in that situation, things would have ended up being very unpleasant. The fact is that each of us holds the cards to defusing most potential conflicts. It’s simply a matter of preventing your emotions from getting the better of you. Not easy, but definitely doable.
I’m planning seminars for 2018 on the power of a positive mindset, happiness/contentment, mindfulness, and dealing with life’s challenges. I believe that they will be invaluable in the pursuit of harmony and contentment, and encourage you to keep an eye out for them.
The last time I was in lockdown was in 1969, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, because racial riots broke out...