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It's All About the Positive...Until It's Not

We have a neighbor who does not like us. More specifically, he does not like dogs. When we got our dogs 10 years ago, we introduced them to all of our neighbors and even offered our cell phone numbers for people to call if there was a problem. He told us then that he did not like dogs, and had moved to get away from another dog. Why he moved to a family neighborhood is beyond me, and he is surrounded by three homes, all of which have dogs. Initially, there was a lot of times when we had to deal with the police (for calling on our inside dogs, who were not barking), as well as our Home Owners Association. But after a number of calls, he was told to stop calling the police, and he has. But he clearly does not like us, and he has used profanity towards myself, my husband, and my niece. If you know my husband, he is not a person who gets angry, really ever. But if you want to see him angry, say or do anything to our niece, you will see a level of anger that would surprise you. But in recent years, we have tacitly agreed to just ignore each other. We act as though he does not exist, and he does the same. Last night, our dogs barked for approximately two minutes. Keep in mind that I was in my house and could not hear them, but apparently he could, and he took that opportunity to yell at my husband about the dogs. I am not sure what changed for him, but I can imagine that our current lack of normal is likely contributing negatively, even to him.

You might wonder why I tell you this (somewhat) long story. After all, this blog is generally considered an informational blog, I am providing you with information that will help and support your life. This blog is no different. This blog is about what to do when you do everything right, when you do all of the things that you are supposed to do, and people still don’t like you, or they don’t treat you well. It’s great when we do the things we are supposed to do and it works. It’s tough when you do it all, try to be pleasant and nice, and still end up with an angry person.

Some people are angry people by their very nature. There is actually no problem with this, truly, we want people to have a variety of feelings and feelings really are okay. It is what we do with these feelings that matter. For those people who feel like they are angry people by nature, I would challenge you to consider how you are treating others around you when you are angry, and why you feel angry all the time. It is not unlikely that you are taking out “big” feelings on someone or something that really does not deserve that intensity of your anger.

Some of us are optimists who believe that there is always the ability for people to feel positively and to reconcile. Our inability to reconcile with our neighbor was difficult for me, and for many years, I continued to make attempts to reconcile. When these attempts failed, I became angry. And then I was angry that I was angry, and I started to blame him for my feelings. But my feelings are my responsibility, and it is not fair for me to blame someone else for my feelings. I came to the conclusion that I did what I could, and I just have to move forward, and ignore him. I am not going to give him any energy, or negative feelings, or anymore of my time. If you have done everything you can to reconcile with someone, or with something, then I want to challenge you to take back the control. Don’t let yourself get so wrapped up in someone else’s anger, sadness, or mental health issues that you start to lose yourself.

We do this by changing our focus. When I start thinking about how much I dislike our neighbor, I focus on something else. I make it a point to focus on positive feelings, and refuse to get caught up in the angry feelings that I might have if I let myself dwell on it. You can do the same. If you have done what you can do, it is time for you to let it go. Hatred, anger, rage, or wanting to punish someone else is like drinking poison, and hoping the other person dies. Stop drinking your poison, and start focusing on positivity.

On a positive note, I believe that we got our other neighbor because he is so amazing, that he makes up for how horrible our other neighbor is. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate him.


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