Byron Katie says there are three types of business: your business, my business, and God's business. And when we think someone else should or shouldn't be doing something, we are out of our own business. If you hang out with any group of people - at work, around the TV, at school pick-up, you'll notice how often we are in others' business.
I'm in my kids' business when I think they should to listen to me, in my boss's business when I think she should respect me, in my husband's business when I think he should understand me by now. We get into the business of our kids' teachers, our clients, other drivers on the road, our family members, the hairdresser, the server at the restaurant, the celebrities who seem unable to behave themselves (according to our rules anyway).
It's so normal yet so unhelpful.
Unhelpful because...if other people don't follow the rules in our heads (even after we've made requests or set boundaries), we are spinning our frustrated mental wheels arguing with reality. We make our peace dependent on something out of our control. And...thoughts about what other people should being doing provide no clear action implications, leaving us stuck.
To get unstuck, take the thought about what someone else needs to do, and change the words around so that you are the subject who can take the action of that verb. Instead of "My boss should respect me," try "I should respect me" or "I should respect my boss." Ask yourself what the new thought means for you and how it may be true. This week, I had the thought that more people should sign up for my tele-class because they would find it so helpful (Ironically, the class was about how to handle unhelpful thoughts). When I turned it around, I came up with, "I should sign up for my class," meaning, I should practice the tools I teach to work on my own thoughts and get out of others' business. It was perfect.
Turning the thought around gives us something to do, which is so much better than being stressed and stuck.
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