Last night, I had a dream that I approached someone and the person snubbed me. I actually woke up angry and feeling annoyed with the person. The dream felt so real that for a moment I thought I was remembering the moment instead of creating it in a dream.Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever had a dream and felt all the feelings that go with the experience in the dream?
I thought about what if I was angry at that person for what they did in my dream? What if I held against them my version of their behavior? It sounds silly, right? But, our perception shapes what we believe about the actions of another person. We give meaning to their actions and reactions based on our own beliefs and insecurities. As silly as it sounds to blame someone for what they have done in a dream, you are often blaming them for what they have done in your head.
As a woman, I can create a whole story about someone who doesn’t match their intentions at all. I’ve been in discussion with other women that are describing how thoughtless their mate is. As I dig deeper, I find out that they had expectations that they never communicated to their boyfriend of husband. The conversation could go something like this:
Her: He’s so selfish. I do everything. He could wash a dish or do something nice for me.
Me: Have you told him that you want him to help you? Have you told him that you want him to do something nice for you?
Her: No, he should know. Why should I have to tell him?
Me: Maybe, he’s not thinking that way.
This conversation was usually followed by an eye-roll on her part and more of a discussion about expressing her feelings to her mate rather than being mad at him. We, often, judge people’s actions and reactions based on what we would do in the same situation. But, you are the only you that exists on the earth so you can’t expect everyone else to do things the way that you would. You have to make space for people to have their own reasoning and intentions.
The easiest way to find out someone’s intentions is to ask the person. Communication is important in every area of life. Sometimes, leaving things open to interpretation allows for the wrong message to fill the space between two people. When you feel wronged, don’t immediately go to protecting yourself. You should try to figure out if the person meant to hurt you or if you experienced it as hurt because of your perception. The person may have been thoughtless, careless or selfish, but it doesn’t mean that they intended to hurt you. This moment could be a teachable moment. It could be a moment for you to understand why you felt the way you felt and for you to allow that person to heal you in that moment by showing you love and sympathy. You rob both of you of that opportunity if you only demonize them for their actions.
“We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.”- Ian Percy
Is there a relationship you could heal today? Can you express your feelings to someone who you feel wronged you? Share it in comments.