Being a woman, I feel like I have some of the most amazing traits that include empathy, kindness, and love. However, on the other side of that is a whole huge mess of emotions that stem from unhappiness with myself. Not because I’ve done anything wrong but simply because of how I think.
I like to call what goes on in my life the Volunteer Pride Cycle. I am really happy with my life and feel comfortable with who I am but one thing while happen and I become sad and depressed. When I feel like that, I like to give to others and I will basically say yes to whatever volunteer opportunity comes my way. I involve myself in helping others so I don’t dwell on my own problems but eventually I become so overwhelmed with all I’ve volunteered myself for, I become even more depressed. I realize the only way out of this is to stop volunteering every spare minute of my day and so I start saying “no” to people and start living my life. Doing this makes me happy. But then something happens and I spiral downward again. … And so goes my Volunteer Pride Cycle.
In these down times that I have, there are 4 Cs that are really good to focus on changing to help live a better, happier life.
Social media has made this easier than ever to compare others, compare yourself to others, and compare every single person you know. It’s crazy. And I feel like as a blogger especially, I’ve fallen victim to being a victim way too often. But just as a mother, I see these mothers who seem to live the perfect life. I mean, in general, we only post the best of ourselves to social media.
Then I have my own family. I still get the occasional from my mother, “Well, I would have done this …” or “I was a good child because …”
So I think we need to take all of this comparing to each other, comparing to ourselves and stop it. What good is it doing us? How is it helping you feel better about yourself?
When I complain, it’s usually to my significant other. “Why can’t you just put your shoes away?” is usually my complaint. Others include dishes, helping clean the house, choosing to help with the kids instead of choosing to help things that will help the family (finances, calling to get our air conditioner), and parking the car he drives to work too close to the family car in the garage.
So at the end of the day, I always ask myself, “Why can’t I just be happy? Why do I complain?” And I never have an answer for that. I’d love to just be happy with how many good things my spouse does for myself and the family. What is the point of complaining? And again, what good is it doing us? How is it helping you feel better about yourself?
It sort of goes along with complaining but it’s just as important. Taking things apart, analyzing it to the point where I can pick out little flaws and criticize how things go is not helpful.
I personally am really good at criticizing how people do things. It’s not necessarily parenting related but more about how someone organizes something or how someone washes clothes. And it’s obnoxious to myself. I feel bad for everyone else who listens to me. And once again, I have to think about how criticizing others is helping me. How is it helping me feel better about myself? Is putting someone down really making me feel better?!
My husband and I try really hard to rid our household of any contention. Growing up in a household where there was quite a bit of contention made me realize the importance of peace within a home. My spouse has realized how to best deal with me when I’m feeling frustrated and we communicate our feelings (my feelings) a lot. However, when there is contention, there’s nothing good about how I feel.
Contention usually grows from one of the things I’ve already discussed. It’s crazy how it starts. I might be comparing my husband to someone else’s husband, I might be complaining because once again he left his shoes in the middle of the hallway, or I might be criticizing him on how he’s folding clothes (it’s bad, I know). My husband, however, is a saint and never fights back, never feels frustrated, and is only sorry that he made me feel upset.
… If that isn’t enough to make me feel bad, I don’t know what is. So we talk it out and I realize that the real reason I’m upset is because I got woken up in the middle of the night, because I didn’t get my exercise in first thing in the morning, or because I saw something on social media that made me frustrated. It’s important for me to recognize why I feel contentious before it escalates.
Again, what good is contention doing you? How is it helping you feel better about yourself?
Instead of the 4 Cs:
Be honest with yourself and be honest with others.
When I’m honest with myself, I can stop myself for doing one of the 4 Cs. I can stop myself from feeling bad about myself and realize that not everyone’s perfect so I can stop comparing myself to others. I can be honest with my spouse and tell him the root of why I’m feeling how I’m feeling. I can be honest with others and not pretend to be perfect. Because I’m definitely nowhere close.
Use words to communicate how you feel with others with positive tones.
My husband and I joke quite often about what a skewed perspective of “anger” and “spouses mad at each other” is going to be as they get older. Although I do get frustrated about the little things, my husband and I often talk it out in front of the kids to show them resolution of problems. I don’t want my children thinking that we never argue. But our voices rarely raise and the arguments end quickly. And more often than not, we argue about the dumbest things, like whether it’s feasible that we will use flying cars as a main mode of transportation. Later on, even days later, my kids aren’t afraid to tell their grandparents we were arguing again. At first our parents were concerned but now I think they know that our arguments aren’t really bad at all because we’ve learned to communicate well with each other.
Find the Good
Instead of finding the negative, instead of criticizing and complaining, find the reasons why you are enjoying the situation you’re in. My neighbor