Question: What are effective ways to listen to and process somebody's actions or words when that person is unhappy or dissatisfied with you? I am looking for management tools to help me in my relationships.
Answer: Thank you so much for your question. It is one that may help many.
The first important message here is to recognize that someone is unhappy with you. Most likely they had an expectation or a judgment about you and their viewed needs were not met by the outside world. You happen to be a part of that outside world. You can recognize that their reaction is not directly about you. It is not up to you to make them whole. By gaining that insight, you can more easily detach from any guilt or any self-judgment that you may have. OK?!
When you move into this understanding, it creates a space for neutrality. It creates an ability to sit within these situations and hear what it is that the other person has to communicate. Hear compassionately what their needs and values are. It does not mean that you have to take on the responsibility of fulfilling what it is they need or value. First of all, hear them out. Hear what it is that they need to express.
Once you have done that, then go within yourself and communicate. What is it that you need and value? That is up to you to discern. It is up to you to go within yourself and see if you can do what they ask without violating your values and without suppressing any aspects of yourself. By creating this space, it will create the opportunity for the other person to hear. You are co-creating the interaction, so they also have a responsibility not only to express, but to listen. You now have a greater understanding of why the two of you came together in this current situation in the way that you did, with the expectations that were presented.
Now that you have this clarity--before doing or promising anything-both of you can take a moment to reflect within as to how a solution can occur. Sometimes the other party is not willing to do this. Therefore, you must take time to step back and do this in your own time.
Now, come back together and communicate. Communicate from the point where you listen to each other express solutions. It may be that you can reach an agreement and all will be well. If you cannot reach an agreement, then you can go back within yourself and see if there is another possible solution. Sometimes there is. Sometimes it may be that a compromise is still something where you both may win. However, you must go within and make sure that you are being true to your values and needs. If you suppress something within yourself, the other person will not be getting all of you. They will not know a "you" that is without resentment or a "you" that is without judgment.
Eventually, you can co-create clarity in the situation. Maybe it will be that they get their needs met somewhere else. Most likely, you will still remain in contact because you had clear communication. It may be that they make a choice that makes you feel guilty. If this occurs, then go into yourself and find which parts of you could be feeling an attachment and want to hold on to this guilt. You will find, nearly always, that it is a belief in separation. Instead, see if you can recognize that we are all connected. We are all one. We are all a part of God. The greater part of us will always know that. The mind sometimes becomes confused. The heart sometimes feels like it holds much emotion or pain. When you get through the emotion or pain, you will see that there is always a desire to be loved.
Perhaps this will give you some ideas with which to play and practice. Thank you so much for your question may it help you manage your relationships with greater ease.