So many generations of children were raised to be defensive because we were always in trouble for something, or criticized in some way. As a result, when another person is angry with us, we immediately jump into defending ourselves. “Your hair needs cutting!” Response: “Well, I’ve been really busy, and so…..”

A favorite attack is to tell someone they hurt their feelings or made you so angry. Truth is, both are a choice. If you said I need a haircut, I would “fog” the comment by sort of agreeing, “That’s true, I do.”

It’s my hair; I don’t care about your opinion over mine. One day, a child leaves their backpack by the front door and you don’t care. The next day, same thing happens and you are a fire breathing dragon. That’s about you, not the backpack.

“I was so hurt when you told me you didn’t like my dinners.” Response: “You asked if I liked it and I said it wasn’t my favorite. I told you the truth and you chose to be angry and hurt.” We teach each other not to tell the truth so we don’t create stormy seas. Don’t ask for the truth unless you can handle it!

By defending and action, acting like we were hurt or made to be angry by what someone said, we give up our part in the play called life. You are an independent character, doing the best you can. Int terms of being critical or judgmental of others, just do YOUR part in the play and let other people do theirs.

I want to rescue you by telling you what you are doing that is wrong…..ooops! I need to stay in my own play and let you figure out yours. Doesn’t sound loving? Actually it is the most loving thing I can do for someone I love.

Please share with friends and family!

Scott A. McDaniel photo