Are You Getting Hooked By Others?

Pecos FishingAre you getting hooked into conflict with others and it feels like there’s nothing you can do about it? Is your emotional reactivity the fault of someone else?  If you can recognize these situations occurring in your relationships, then this Alignment Process (AP) movie session may bring you some relief.

As annoying as this may seem, the people hooking you into conflict are usually reflecting the resonance that’s occurring within you. When you can see these patterns and work on changing them – you give others the space to make a change too. There’s usually a gift to be discovered with people that hook you and it’s always worth the trip to discern what it is.

In the movie, As Good As It Gets, Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is a successful writer. He’s a recluse curmudgeon that doesn’t like people. Melvin has emotional problems and is known for spraying people with his acerbic zingers. As he tells his neighbor’s friend whose offering some inspiration, 

“Where do they teach you to talk like this in some Panama City sailor want a hump hump bar? Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.”

 

Melvin is not happy and his behavior pushes people away. How Melvin behaves has nothing to do with those around him and everything to do with the conflict within him. If you have a Melvin in your life here are some steps to take to begin the shift within yourself:

Let Go

Sometimes we’re not aware of how seriously we take ourselves and our rigid beliefs about how others should behave. We have rules about what’s the right thing to say and when it’s the right time to say it. When someone doesn’t follow our rules, we get rattled and reactive. Practice letting go of your beliefs and judgments of yourself and others. When you can begin letting go, you’ll feel less need to change them.

Accept What Is

Someone like Melvin wasn’t born an unhappy person. He or she has had a lifetime of choices and experiences that formed his or her outlook on life and people. It’s not our job to try and change people like Melvin. When we can accept what is, we can quickly catch ourselves from flying off the handle and engaging with them. Trying to initiate change in the moment or defending your position will only steal your peace of mind.

How do you accept what is and stay centered? First notice when someone is trying to hook you into an unpleasant conversation. It’s analogous to a fly fisherman casting over and over searching for a bite. You don’t have to swallow the hook reactively and you can respond to them. I think of it like “the tree falling in the woods” – if you don’t say anything to an unpleasant comment then did the comment really happen? If there’s a charge and you want to engage, hold off until you can get centered again then revisit the comment. Notice how Melvin’s neighbor, Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear) doesn’t react to Melvin’s snarky remarks. He’s a good example of how this looks.

We always have a choice whether to react or respond to situations in our lives. When we’re simply reacting, we’ve lost all choice and usually the interaction has to play out – which can get messy. When we respond to what’s occurring, we then have more opportunities for growth and connection with others.

Remember, nobody is perfect including yourself. If you desire to love all the quirks in those closest to you, then try the Practice Loving Completely alignment session.

Communicate From The Heart

If you continue to have unpleasant conversations with someone, wait until the moment has passed and then revisit it. Many times our thoughtful response to others begins the steps necessary for the relationship to change. When you communicate how your feel from your heart it can be a helpful way to respond to a situation. 

If this doesn’t work, it may be time to set up some boundaries in the relationship. Watch how those around Melvin do this throughout the movie. From his therapist, neighbors, to how Carol (Helen Hunt) lets him know when he’s crossed a boundary. Each time, Melvin chooses to move toward cleaning up his behavior. 

Tips For Your Own Inner Melvin Tendencies

  • There’s no place for wisecracks and zingers in any relationship – be it family, your spouse, or co-workers. There’s always a kernel of truth wrapped in the package of a humorous zinger. Wisecracks push people away and suffocate intimacy. Just stop using them.
  • Accept what is occurring in your life and surrender to it knowing you are where you are and that’s okay.
  • Notice when your complaining that others don’t treat you how you think they should. It’s a sign you’re not accepting what is.
  • Clean up your attitude and find a daily practice that calms your thinking. This can be 10 minutes of meditation, a daily walk, yoga, the gym – whatever works for you. If you are unable to balance your own reactive mind, how can you expect others to do it?
  • Reach for the best feeling thought or emotion. As Melvin sings in the film, “Always look for bright side of your life”. 

The 7 Key Benefits from Watching As Good As It Gets AP Session

  1. The ability to respond to unpleasant exchanges with others instead of reacting to them.
  2. Accepting what is as a pathway to peace of mind.
  3. The ability to look for the bright side of your life.
  4. Releasing your own inner Melvin tendencies.
  5. The ability to recognize that nobody is responsible for how you feel.
  6. The acceptance that no person is perfect and we’re all quirky at times.
  7. More harmony in your most cherished relationships.

How To Benefit From This Alignment Process Movie?

  • If you haven’t done the Intention Session, then do this first and only once. Think of it as downloading an App on your smartphone. Once completed then you’re ready to benefit from any of our AP movies/TV shows.
  • Rent and watch the entire movie:  As Good As It Gets
  • If you notice relief in the subsequent days, please pass this blog to someone you know who might appreciate some assistance. If you’re so inspired to like us on our Facebook page or Google+ – we welcome the love!

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About David Barnes

Co-Founder of Peace Of Mind Overtures and co-author of Taming Your Dragons: Making Peace With Your Emotions and It's Just Commerce: Returning Balance to Business. Lets connect: http://about.me/peaceovertures

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