Lose the Laundry List

Instead of a story I’ll share with you this week a nice concept about the ‘laundry list’ that we gradually develop regarding our life partner and why it is crucial to lose it. It is taken from the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…. For Couples”:

It is impossible for life partners not to develop some frustrations and disappointments with one another over time.  Unfortunately, this material creates a growing laundry list of complaints. We take note of the negative, mentally and emotionally record it, and let it work on us and our responses to our mates.

The first step in losing the laundry list (which creates so much noise in our relationships) is to acknowledge what you are feeling. Once again, he forgot to add milk to the grocery list, and you have to make an emergency run to the store. She “cleaned up” your papers, even though you asked her not to, and now that receipt is nowhere to be found. Or that tired joke was made at your expense again while dining out with friends. You’re angry or hurt or feeling disrespected. Admit what you’re feeling to yourself, and you open the door to a positive approach to the negative feelings instead of letting them fester and grow.

Now, forgive the person. Your negative feelings may be entirely appropriate, or they may not. In either case, if you carry them around inside, you close yourself off to healing and build a wall between you and your partner. You may need to vent by saying something like, “When you do that, I feel…” or you may choose not to speak. The essence of forgiveness has to do with releasing yourself from the negative feelings and exercising your capacity to love your partner beyond any weaknesses. Each of us has our own share of flaws. How would you wish your partner to respond to those traits and behaviors in you that are less than perfect?

Next, forget the gripe. Complaints are like bad dreams. If you move on after them, they lose their impact, but if you relive them again and again in your mind or conversation, they grow out of proportion to their real importance. Let them go. Holding on to your grievances will hurt you more than anyone else, and it will crowd out the possibility for positive change.

Now, practice having a positive perspective. Your partner almost certainly has shortcomings. So do you (certainly you have less…). But your partner also has strengths that deserve better than equal attention. As important, reconsider your judgment of some of your partner’s “flaws.” Often what we judge as negative in another is more a matter of simple differences. He may forget to add items to the grocery list because he’s a dreamer, a creative type. The world needs dreamers and creators. She may clean up out of desire to make a beautiful home for both of you. That’s a wonderful impulse that deserves the compromises necessary to allow her to fulfill it.

In short, there is no end to gripes and grievances. But you can choose to lose the laundry list.

(From the book “Don’t Sweat Guide – For Couples” by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.)

 And may I guess that the first thought that pops into your mind is: ‘It is very important for my partner to read it. He/she may then moderate his/her criticism.’ Very common mistake! You should read it and use it… and then things will change…

Dale Carnegie once wrote: “We all dream about a magical garden of roses beyond the horizon, while we can enjoy the blossoming roses just under our window.”

Fireworks (65)
Shuka, Thursday, October 7, 2010

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Thanks a lot! Shuka, This concepts are very healthy and surely keeping them in mind will help me to see with different perspective, many things…I think that getting deep in these reflections will also help much in getting to know myself better and to understand the source of my disappoing feelings…in any case, it’s a good chance to grow and improve your the relation with your significant other..that can only bring happiness…C

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