Are you a control freak? Do you always decide where you should go for dinner with your friends? Once there, do you insist on ordering the foods you think everyone must try? Do you rationalize that your choices are best, because they’re the healthiest or the tastiest?
This sort of “behavior” may do more harm then good to your friendships. Although there may be some people who are like to be led, most of us tend to resent being told what to do and how, where, or when to do it. If you truly accept your friends and loved ones, you won’t behave as a grand puppeteer, controlling their every move.
Perhaps you’ve learned to back off a bit when someone close to you is harming themselves, or missing out on something by not doing what you want. It’s best to try and discuss the merits of your choice, so you’re opening their eyes about something rather than trying to control their actions without making them feel like they had a choice in the matter. Even so, this isn’t true acceptance.
To really embrace all the nuances of your loved one’s choices, it is your mind that needs to be opened. So wht not go along with their plans for once? Even if they want to see a movie that you’re sure you’ll hate – try it. You may be pleasantly surprised. If you still despise the film, at least you have something to discuss afterward. If they want to eat escargots or cooked eel, give it a try.
By being open to what they want, you’re widening your scope of acceptance and perhaps learning something new at the same time. What’s more, you may just stumble upon something you will love – and that you wished you’d experienced sooner. Plus, the simple shared experience is worth far more than getting your own way.
Free your will
You’ll find yourself relieved by this realization. Why? Because you’ll no longer have the burden of imposing your will on others. You’ll actually be able to go with the flow and just be. You can focus on your own eating choices, instead of your friend’s when out to dinner. Your friends will, in turn, apprecaite that you don’t meddled with their choices, even though what you may pick for them may be more conducive for their health. It’s ultimatley their choice. You must be flexible with your beliefs, and not impose them on others so harshly.
Let them be
What’s wonderful about this new approach is that it probably keeps your stress level from getting high every time your will is not imposed on others. By letting those around you just be, you’re providing a more relaxed mood that is good for both you and your loved ones. Trust that they will find the right path – perhaps with some subliminal but not overt hints from you. If they don’t, you still have to let them live their own lives. The only way you can truly lead is by example.
We must learn to embrace our differences. This is what allows for freedom of choice, and lets ideas blossom. By going with the flow instead of forcing it, you will find yourself more content and have a richer and more varied life – and your friends and loved ones will enjoy your company much more!
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