When the guy you’re dating does something that really torques your jaw, something you consider incredibly rude, self-centered, or insensitive, it’s easy to get in his face about it. But if most of the time he’s a thoughtful, polite, sharing, caring, conscious guy, this inconsiderate behavior is an anomaly.
So how do you approach the situation with love and maturity, yet let your feelings be known? This concept is not easy to apply when you are in the heat of anger, but when you do the outcome is amazing.
Ask yourself, “What would I do if I were coming from my highest self?”
What do I mean by that? What would you do if you were happy, secure, confident, fulfilled, and at peace with yourself? If you didn’t take anything personally, and someone’s behavior didn’t mean anything about you?
Let’s take a dating example. The guy you’re dating is commonly late. You’ve had it. You’re ready to lay into him when his sorry self does show up. You get yourself into a rage thinking how disrespectful he is of your time, what a flake he is, why can’t he get his life in order, what possibly could take priority over being on time to be with you, and how clearly this shows he’s not that into you?
Take a deep breath.
How would you react if you were able to give him some grace? You know he’s a kind, considerate, thoughtful guy, and he has an Achilles heel where he tries to do one more thing before leaving, so is often late. When you’ve talked to him about this, he knows it is a problem and promises to do better, which he has, but he’s obviously not cured.
Your highest self forgives him in advance, and you busy yourself with other things until he arrives. When he does, you matter-of-factly ask if he is alright, as he’s a bit later than he said he’d be. He apologizes and says he knows he has a problem with tardiness, and he is working on changing this habit and he appreciates your patience. You tell him you appreciate his efforts on this because it is bothersome to you when you repeatedly have to wait for him, and you’ve seen that he’s a tad less late than he used to be. You ask him to call you if he realizes he will be late so you can do something else with your waiting time. He agrees, and promises to work hard on changing this behavior.
You feel good about how you handled this because it is in alignment with the self-image you have that you are a kind, understanding, compassionate, patient, calm person.
I practiced this concept of “coming from my highest self” when going through my divorce. My ex was behaving in a way I’d not known him to be in our 20-year relationship. He was making unreasonable demands and insisting on things I didn’t think made sense. At first, I got angry and our mediations deteriorated into shouting matches.
I didn’t like how the mediations were turning out. Little got accomplished and I always ended up in tears. I felt disempowered and unable to deal with a man I’d loved for 20 years, but was now radically different. I walked out of the sessions with more hurt and anger than when I arrived.
So I tried preparing myself by saying, “I’m going to work at coming from my highest self.” When he made an unreasonable demand, instead of getting angry, I began asking him probing questions, “Help me understand why that is important to you?” “You say you want one of our two matched couches. Is it just a couch you want, or do you specifically want that couch?” “If we were to agree on X instead of Y, would that satisfy your need?”
By being more forgiving and calm, I was able to negotiate for what was truly important to me and let go of what wasn’t. In fact, I saw it as a gift when he demanded things that I didn’t want in my life anymore.
Please don’t misunderstand this point — I’m not saying you should put up with abusive, dysfunctional or toxic behavior thinking that is coming from your highest self. Your highest self means you are taking care of you in all ways.
Try applying this concept and tell us how it worked for you.