We tend to mirror other people’s emotions. If you’re a parent, think about the last time your child got upset because of a consequence you enforced. If you’re married, think about the last time your spouse was grumpy or upset about something. If you have co-workers, think about the last time one of them was complaining. How did you feel? How did you react? Did you get tense and upset or grumpy or start complaining, too?
This is something I’m in the midst of working on. The hardest time for me is with my kids. My coach gave me the thought, “If they’ve made a bad choice, they should be upset, not me.” Maybe I want to be disappointed, or sad with or for them, but I definitely don’t need to be mad. I didn’t make the bad choice. So, I like to think the thought, “They can be upset, and I don’t have to.” I can be calm, and loving. Isn’t it a lot more fun to be sympathetic than angry? “That’s so sad you’ve lost your screen time. I don’t like it when I get a negative consequence either.” Instead of, “You should’ve obeyed the rules, then you would have gotten to do your screen time.”
So much nicer!