MAKING THINGS HAPPEN OR LETTING THEM HAPPEN?
There is a well-known presupposition about taking responsibilities for our actions and for our lives which goes something like this: “The meaning of my communication is the response I get.” Do I make things happen? Or do I let things happen? Either way, it means we have a choice about what I have done and what I will do. The message should read that I am responsible for what happens when I say or do something.
If I don’t like the response I get, then I need to do something different in order to get a different response. It could be that others are partly to blame for what is happening, even though we don’t like it, but complaining and moping isn’t necessarily going to change things. If I want change, it goes without saying that I have to initiate it myself.
Of course, sometimes this doesn’t always work out. With some people, whatever we do or say, however much we try, we will not get the result we need or expect. Some people just don’t like us and whatever we try to do, there may be little we can do to make them like us. In this case, we should stick to our guns because there are always certain beliefs to which one shouldn’t give way. If you bear in mind the above presupposition, you are much more likely to have better relationships.
It goes without saying that you can’t control your life totally, just as you can’t control everything that happens to other people. In fact, most things are beyond our control, life just happens. However much we try to control our lives and those of others, there will always be the unexpected. Life so often throws things at you that are not of your choosing. Your only possibility is how you respond to these things.
Here’s a simple exercise to help you:
- Think of someone with whom you have some kind of conflict and with whom you would like to have a better relationship. Start with a simple one like a local butcher.
- Write down all the things that you think you might be doing to worsen the situation and be honest.
- Now, write down three things you might do differently which may improve the situation… and again, be honest.
- Try them out on the person you have chosen, one by one or all together and then try it with someone else.
The simple motto is “If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else”.
Happy English learning!!