observe the tension



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LET'S SAY YOUR SISTER and her teenage daughter come for a visit and there is palpable tension between them. It is uncomfortable for you. They are hostile to each other. Your first reaction is to try to diffuse the tension with humor. Or tell the daughter to treat her mother more respectfully. Or any of a number of things that will ease your uncomfortable feelings. But as you can see, any of these may be inappropriate.

Another option is to simply observe. Watch. Get in a kind of detatched, passive mode and see what's going on. Notice your feelings about it. Observe everything that is happening without trying to control it or direct it or change it.

After awhile, an idea may come to you about what to do with the situation, if anything. Sometimes the best action you can take is to refrain from taking any action. But if something definitely presents itself as a good idea, it will be a more informed idea than your first impulse, and likely to be more effective, more helpful, more in tune with the situation, and more likely to have a good outcome.

Observe first.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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