The grass is always greener if you know where to look.
When I don’t like something I tend to avoid it. I tend to escape and withdraw and focus as though what is irritating does not exist. I think this is a fairly common response: few of us tackle something that conflicts with our zen head-on. Not unless it impedes our life’s traffic are we forced to take stock.
Irritants can vary on our emotional scale of tolerance. Sometimes I just don’t take out the compost because once it is dumped into the composter outside, you have to wash out the pail. It can be messy and smelly and you have to deal with soggy melon rinds or marinated onion peels. It’s okay, I’d just rather not. Other times, in personal relationships, I just don’t want to talk about how things annoy me. Not because I don’t want the other person to change, but because it means I also have to be willing to change. I don’t want to change, thanks, so I’ll just focus on an imaginary situation where a perfect person does not bug me, and I am perfect too. We all get along and there is soft lighting wherever we go.
By changing nothing, nothing changes. -Tony Robbins
It’s tricky when you focus too much on what you think a person should be, and less on yourself. Changing your opinion of an issue is the easiest way to change a situation. Nagging at someone in your life does not really make them change. They get irritated, you waste energy. If you really focus, that little thing about someone else can irritate you even when it is not happening.
There is the lead-by-example approach, but we often think we already all lead by example. We want everyone to be like us because we are just fine as we are. Ironically, the other person is also just fine as they are, we just haven’t realized that yet. When we take steps to create change it affects others. We unknowingly create a space that invites others around us to change, without expectation or pressure. We focus on what we’d like to see for ourselves and in this way shift our perspective. We allow others the chance for change if it’s appropriate for them.
We are not going to get along with everyone. I tell my kids to try to be nice to everyone in their classes at school, but that they don’t have to like everyone. I’m not suggesting they write off those kids they may not favor, but more that tolerance and acceptance of difference will go a long ways towards making their own lives simpler and easier. I think the kids who are popular are those that really just let it all be as it is, like “water off a duck’s back.” They can find the tolerable parts in each person and go with that. They wisely ignore the rest, or just let it be and not try to fix, change or modify that part of the other person.
It’s hard to get along with people. As much as you try to like them and accept them as individuals, it becomes difficult because they keep getting out of line and wasting your time -Henry Rollins
It’s not easy to get along with people. A nuclear family is hard enough, let alone your own friends (people you actually like!), spouses, partners, in-laws, neighbours, co-workers, commuters, etc. Sometimes, years after, I will remember a conversation I had with someone and finally think up the perfect come-back to a comment. I often want to find that person and call them up and tell them what I really think, now. It’s a bit ridiculous and righteous and the person probably wouldn’t even remember what I was talking about to begin with. I would spend more time explaining the context of the situation than achieve any kind of vindication, or validation.
We are only responsible for ourselves and our actions. All we can do is be who we are, as best we can. The more content we are internally, the less the exterior rubs at us. I don’t need that perfect person to get along with, one who agrees with everything I say (that would be irritating in its own way). If I dare to look internally I may find some green grass within me that is just as perfect as the next person’s.
*Do you have friends you don’t like? How green is the grass in your world?