In our daily lives, we often deal with a lot of people we don’t like. Our attitude towards them can range from annoyance to hatred. At work, it can be the office lady who pretends to work but really doesn’t do anything. In our own personal lives, it can be our parents nagging, or a “friend” who shows off how much better off he/she is than you. In essence, we may not value these relationships very much. They do nothing but give us negative energy. We may have to do more on our part to cover for their shortcomings.
In relationships, however, it is up to us to change ourselves first before we can seek change in others. Changing our attitude includes learning to understand the value of another person’s existence. Any person has a value, whether negative or positive. It is up to us to appreciate them for existing in our lives. Because of them, we are able to grow and learn, and realize our own shortcomings. Also, if we are able to assure another through their value of existence, then they will start to show more value in other ways.
Here’s a personal example of mine: my girlfriend likes to sleep in while I like to get up early and do work. At the beginning, I always complained about how she never does anything around the house because she’s never awake to do them! I decided to revaluated my standpoint, and appreciate her value of existence. My attitude changed from, “she doesn’t do any work around the house” to “she offers me opportunity to look after the house. This means I get to learn to have better time management as I have to juggle more things to do.” Changing my paradigm made me feel a whole lot better! Also, because I valued her for being her, I noticed that she did more work around the house.
Here’s another example that most people can relate to: people in group projects who don’t do any work, while you have to struggle and do everything. I know it’s hard, but value their existence by saying “because of them, I realize that I need better leadership and management skills”, or “because of them, I need to learn more skills to motivate others to work”.
More common examples:
1) Parents nagging you
Value of existence: “Because of them, I am learning to have better tolerance against naggers”, or “Because of them, I have a greater understanding of how parents are and how I may be in the future when I become a mom/dad”.
2) Friends who pretend to care, but don’t really care
Value of existence: “Because of you, I’ve learned the skill of spotting my true and false friends”, or “Because of you, I’m learning to be careful about how I communicate.”
3) Speaking to someone who never seems to understand you
Value of existence: “Because of you, I am practicing new ways of communication”, or “Because of you, I’m working on my listening skills to understand you better”.
Life is a funny paradox. The more we value someone’s apparent shortcomings, the more they seem to prove us wrong. We have to learn to take alternative paths in growing our wisdom. The more we learn to accept more of what this world has to offer, the more powerful our wisdom. The stronger our wisdom, the better our relationships will become.