As we have looked at for the last two days, so many of our problems and difficulties stem, not from other people, but from our desire to control them.
To make them do what we want.
To force them into our agendas and plans.
So how we can we deal with others mindfully?
The same way we deal with anything mindfully: by being aware of the difference between the situation, and our judgment or assessment of the situation.
You want to see Mad Max but the other person wants to see Creed.
I don’t go to the movies a lot, shut up.
Is it really a matter of them being unreasonable and selfish, or simply wanting to see something different? Is it all that important that you get to see your movie?
This is a really good opportunity to explore the emotions and thoughts you have related to the situation rather than judging their behavior.
Are you tying this to previous behavior you have seen from them, so it is about more than this one movie?
Is this really about feeling like you never get your way?
Are you just unable to accept not getting your way?
Do you experience anxiety when you aren’t in control?
What does anxiety drive you to do?
None of these things are necessarily good or bad. Neither is seeing Mad Max or Creed or Fantastic Beasts or whatever, they are just movies. A few hours out of your life. You will waste 10 times that many hours on your phone in the coming week.
Your partner wanting to see what they want to see is neutral, and no different than you wanting to see what you want to see.
There is no morality or ethics here, it’s just two people wanting what they want.
So, take a moment, address what is happening inside of you, and accept that it is neutral. Accept that your partner wanting what they want is neutral.
Let yourself sit with these thoughts and feelings, without judgment, without reaction. Observe them, allowing them to be exactly as they are.
Then shut up and let them pick the movie.
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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