My friend Joelle called me to complain about her boyfriend’s sister the other day. Joelle used to complain about Connie to her boyfriend but that only caused arguments between them. Now she’s learned. What do you accomplish when you diss someone else’s family? Nothing. Not worth it. Only causes a case of torn loyalties. Makes the guy/gal you love feel like they have to choose. Don’t go there.
Find someone to be your safe room. Someone not connected to the situation who will listen to you. Find someone who will hear what you have to say so you can say it and let it go and not keep spinning your wheels in the mud.
You’re not going to always like people you have to love. But you don’t have to share every feeling with your partner. You might want him to second that emotion but he’ll never see his family the way you do. Just like you have a blind spot for your family, too.
Find a safe room. Spill your stuff. Give the person a funny nickname. (Joelle calls Connie C.A., the Con Artist.) Think of three things you can always learn from the person. Tolerance. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Those are big words and it’s only the people who annoy us the most who can teach us these lessons.
Remember: We don’t get to transform anyone else but ourselves. That’s the art. That’s our life-long job. Taking care of ourselves means finding a person to be our safe room.