Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Have you ever stepped back and thought about what your perception is when your spouse, kids, a coworker or a friend says something? Have you ever thought about, what you choose to perceive they said, could be impacting the relationship you have with them? Meaning, you have a role to play in the relationship, how you choose to take what they say can build or destroy that relationship. Maybe your perception, how you have chosen to interrupt what they said, isn't accurate? Maybe you bring in "Automatic Negative Responses, ANTs" from Amanda Taylor of Overflowing Wife, you think negatively about them or yourself and that is how you are looking at the situation and responding, negatively. This will/can destroy a relationship. Our perceptions are our realities, and these perceptions may be accurate or not. The more of what we choose to see, good or bad, is what we will see in the other person.
Here is an example:
A husband tells his wife he is going to pay a bill once she finds out some details from a third party.
Wife does her part, finding out info and lets hubby know what said info is.
He asks if she paid the bill.
She tells him no, the plan was for him to pay it and that is what she is still planning on.
Here are two different perspectives from this situation, there are many. We will deal with two and I think it will help the general idea of perceptions and how they impact our lives and relationships.
The husband choose to become angry, thinking she is upset and going down the same road of anger and bitterness and her response proves it.
This would be a negative response, ANT. How do you know she is angry and upset? Did you ask? If she says yes, OK, but what if she says no. Will you believe her or continue down your perception she is angry and bitter and her response proves it?
The wife could be bitter for him questioning, she did not believe he would do what he said and how dare he ask, questioning her trust in him. Thus, her response would be an ANT.
Assuming there was no asking on either side what did you really mean, you could say, well she/he is always angry, doesn't trust, so that is just how it is. Is this true or the perception you have chosen to have of the other person? Maybe she was angry before, has realized this and is trying to be a better person, but you do not want to see it. You continue to only see negative and bad. What you continue to think and choose to see is what you will see, that is how perceptions work, they are your choose. Only wanting to see negative and bad in your spouse, or someone else, brings death to the relationship, chaos, confusion, turns you against one another and you wonder why things are failing?
A positive perception:
The wife sees the question husband asked as double checking, no harm. She is reassuring him in her trust in him, he said he would do pay the bill and she is trusting and believing he will do it.
The husband sees her response and perceives, my wife trusts me and is reassuring me in her trust, I will do what I told her I would do. She respects me.
The perceptions of this couple are to see good in each other, build one another up, bring life, love, trust, respect to each other. This builds their marriage and positive perceptions. In the future, when something happens, their automatic response, will be positive instead of negative, even if it is something big. Their first response will be to see good.
How does this relate to health? When we are positive, there are positive feed back loops that happen in the body, good hormones being released that positively impact the brain, your health and relationships. We see the world as being safe, trust worthy. We find true joy and happiness. We are healthier in every aspect of our lives.
When we are negative, there is a feed back loop happening in the body, but this one is with negative hormones, causing more stress and anxiety, bad health. The longer we live here, the worse our lives, relationships and health become.
The beautiful, amazing thing about this, it is your choose. You choose. What do you want to see in others? How will you respond? You can choose to begin seeing the good, watch your relationships grow and blossom. It will be difficult at first, change is never easy and negative behavior patterns are very difficult to change, you need something like 20 positives for every one negative. You CAN do it. If you are the one trying and the other person is not, it will be hard. In time, with your positive responses and building up that person, or someone explaining to them about perceptions, they will begin to see good in you. The more positive, life giving you are, seeing the best in them, the harder it will be for them to see negative. Doesn't mean it wont happen. We cannot change some's perception, all we can do is be the best we can be and hope they will see the change, the good in us, but we cannot make them change. Give them every reason to see good.
Saving the world one stick of butter, and positive perception, at a time.