Have you ever noticed that some people can look for ways to be upset, either by a situation, what someone said, or what they think they should have said or done?
These people can feel quite ridged in their approach to life and upsetting them can be easy.
They find so many ways to be upset many observers can conclude they gain some pleasure from being upset.
How people get upset is important to understand and is critical for me to understand why clients do what they do so I can help them out of their problems.
So this next story fascinated me, I remember watching the news one evening and a story came on about a couple who had sextuplets (six babies at once).
I remember the proud father being interviewed by the reporter whilst images flashed up showing all six children wrapped up and in a line on the bed.
I remember thinking how amazing, I then quickly imagined the day-to-day reality, the story ended and I continued with my day.
Six years later the TV was on as I walked through my lounge.
I stopped dead! The news was on and it was that guy again, this time the six children were running, playing, arguing basically doing what kids do in the background.
The reporter asked him a great question.
Now you have had six years of bringing these children up what have you learnt?
He said, “I learnt to get rid of all my rules!”
It was an amazing answer because imagine having rules for six children who would break them every second.
He would always be upset.
He said, as long as they were safe, happy and healthy he decided to stop micro-managing everything they did because when he did he was upsetting himself, his wife and the children.
So he knew his thinking had to change because everyone’s happiness was more important than his rules.
Who knew we have rules?
So when a person gets upset it means they have a rule attached to what happened before they were upset.
So when something happened for them to be upset it must have broken their rule.
Being upset is essentially a rule break.
The problem is many people don’t realise they have rules and are unaware if they are the right rules.
So when a rule is broken they get upset and blame the other person(s).
If a person is going to have life rules then they need to set themselves up for success.
She was upsetting everyone including herself!
I asked one lady about her rules and she looked at me as if I was talking in another language, she had no idea what she was doing to herself and those she loved.
But her problem was she had so many rules that were making her and those she loved unhappy.
Everyone was walking on eggshells around her so the people she loved the most were being hurt and having to change to accommodate her rules, or there would be an upset.
With so many rules other people had no idea what her rules were and were subjected to emotional outbursts from her when they broke them.
This had to change or she would be miserable and alone.
I said to her we have two choices we either have to write to everyone she will meet until the day she dies explaining her rules so they don’t upset her.
We can design better rules that can lead her to a happier life and better relationships.
She had no idea she was doing this and she too decided to let go of the rules that didn’t matter and change the ones that did matter so they could lead her and those she loved to happiness.
People have rules and they don’t know they have rules and many have rules that lead them to destructive behaviours.
Many people would do almost anything to avoid the emotions they don’t want, so they build rules to protect themselves.
They are usually unaware the emotions/fears they are trying to avoid are going to be created by the very rules they are using to protect themselves.
Many people have rules given to them by their own parents and many are outdated or ill-formed.
I recommend my clients learn to understand their ineffective rules and replace them with ones that work.
So I have a good rule to stop conflict, NEVER attach bad rules to situations, especially where a disconnect is always the end result.