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A revolutionary idea that doubles as a gift

Dr. Helen Johnson

18 Dec 2020

As Christmas approaches and we are allowed into our bubble bubbles or whatever the rules are, we may all be...

It’s going to annoy you a little bit though…

As Christmas approaches and we are allowed into our bubble bubbles or whatever the rules are, we may all be so excited that we forget how annoying our families are. Yep. They’re annoying (WE aren’t annoying at all – but THEY are, right?!). Plus schools and nurseries close and we have to look after kids 24/7 and that’s… Delightful… But… Sometimes testing. So I was thinking through some coping strategies and I came up with one but I can’t say it’s the easiest one to implement – the simplest, maybe, but not the easiest.

It’s this:

‘I see you and I love you’

I know right. You’re thinking ‘WTAF kind of advice is this Helen? Is this a Hallmark film? What I need is military level negotiation strategies, not this s**t’. But actually, I know from negotiation training that reputation and relationship are key – and the way to build relationship – and a positive reputation – is through ‘I see you and I love you’. It will set the tone, meet people’s needs making them a lot easier on you, and failing that, it gives you a little self-care when you direct it at yourself.

Think about it. Deep down, isn’t that what you really want from the people around you? Think about all the times you have had fractured relationships – chances are one of these needs wasn’t being satisfied – you didn’t feel seen or you didn’t feel loved (or both, as is common).

Also, it is beautiful in its simplicity. You simply take this phrase with you and remind yourself of it constantly. You say it to yourself. You find ways to say it to other people. – How can I show them this? How can I communicate this? How can I bring this attitude to our interactions? – And when you can’t say it out loud to them, you say it to them in your head (like when they are really getting on your nerves or if saying it would cause suspicion or awkwardness!).

I get that this is difficult. It’s much more fun to run with the annoyance – or sit around waiting for THEM to see and love US. But we can’t control them can we? And someone has to lead the way. So I’m going to try to be a leader, at least 80% of the time, let me know if you do too!

Ps. Honestly ‘I see you and I love you’ has had the biggest impact on me, when I focus on this, I am able to assess what is going on in my relationships way better AND I can offer it to myself when I need it.

PPs. This MUST be directed at yourself first so that you don’t become an over-giver, which kinda defeats the point.

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