Imagine transforming your outlook about all of your interactions. What if, for 2018, or any new year, you reassessed not who brings you joy, pain, sorrow, or excitement, but who you bring joy, pain, sorrow, and excitement to? I’m talking about personal accountability and making amends, two of the most difficult lessons of maturity.
I’ve read a lot about cutting out toxicity, creating a positive mindset, and surrounding yourself with those who support you and your creativity. I read much less, however, about taking account of how you interact with the world. You can only control yourself. Some people take this to mean that you shouldn’t waste your energy on difficult people or those who bring you down with negative vibes. What if it means that you check your own negative vibes? Who have you hurt? With whom do you need to mend ties?
3 Easy Steps to Making Amends:
- Just apologize. No excuses, no explanations. You can acknowledge you made a mistake. That doesn’t make you weak, it makes you mad strong. You can say that was wrong, and I’m sorry. I will do everything I can to not repeat this same mistake. Wow, now you’re mature. I want to be around you. Now you care!
- Be okay if someone doesn’t want to forgive you right away. Pray for them and wish them good things in private. This will soften their heart, and perhaps one day, they’ll forgive you. You do your part though, ask for forgiveness.
- Avoid the old triggers. If you know that you tend to hurt people or be in super bad mood when you do certain things like: not eat, hang out with the wrong crowd, get intoxicated, or dislike your job—then vow to change that. If you place yourself in bad environments, you can only expect bad.
Relationships are about giving of yourself even when it’s hard to give. Often times, if we really reflect, we can remember the times when people did us wrong or made us feel bad. And instead of being giving, we recoiled and retracted. We may have even lashed out and said or did hurtful things. You owe it to your future relationship health to reflect about your past relationships.
This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip! Yes, sometimes people are wrong and you need to get away from them. However, think about this exercise as a way to think if you could have behaved differently. Can you transform your interactions so that you are your best self? How can you uplift people? And how can you bring joy, positivity, and excitement to more of your relationships?
This is critical when you think about how many people suffer from unhealthy dynamics in their marriages, at work, or in their homes. When you model better behavior, those around you notice. I promise. When you become the change you want others to be, they stand up and deliver. We can’t say we want good things if we don’t spread good. I’ve seen some people totally blocked from good. It’s scary. They are just unable to have good things flow into their lives, and time and time again, I see it’s because they treat others badly. No one has to be like that. We are all capable of being a better version of ourselves. Here’s to a new year of healing!
Yasmin Elhady is an attorney and public policy specialist. A federal attorney and activist, her experience spans community building, civil rights, and immigration. With 10 years of match-making experience, she also jumpstarted YasGuru, an innovative program for discovering your self & assisting relationship success. For more on YasGuru, click here.