When I was 30, my mom (a therapist) said to me: “Listen, its cool that you’ve made it this far w/ everyone liking you. But if you can learn to tolerate others’ dislike or displeasure or misunderstanding, you will do yourself a great service.” Reader, I am still working on this.
To the extent that I have succeeded, it is due in large part to the following:

-waiting to respond to things that provoke my panic and desire to control other people and their perceptions.

-earnestly asking myself to if whatever I want to fix or control is any of my business
-asking for input from people whom I believe are saner than me (not simply those who will give me the answer I prefer)

-differentiating between others’ urgency and my own

-taking regular inventories of my relationships to determine what my part in any conflict or resentment is
-accepting that the right action or non-action doesn’t guarantee that everyone will be happy with me

-reminding myself that I am not important, in an existential, liberating way, a way that means I can do what seems best and the stakes are not so high.
I don’t know about you (except you other libras), but conflict fills me w TERROR. Practice has taught me that simply sitting in my terror and moving through it without reacting yields amazing results.
On the other side of terror my own intelligence and love waits, and it is always, always better to respond to conflict from those parts of me. Terror is a mad dog who needs love, not the wheel.
You can follow @melissafebos.
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