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Reframing Instead of Blaming

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Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about reframing instead of blaming. So to start off, I'd like to share with you a quote by Jack Himmelstein from The Center for Understanding Conflict. So he says, "When it comes to conflict, we judge ourselves by our intentions, but we tend to judge others by the effects of their actions on us." I think this sentence actually summarizes a lot of the reasons that we get caught up in conflict, hostility and resentment towards others. So for example, let's say someone's late, 20 minutes late to meet you somewhere, or someone pulls out in traffic.

What do you do in that moment? Right, we often start to feel that we're being disrespected, treated unfairly or you're not being valued. We might start to get really irritated and angry with the other person. You start to think about what a horrible kind of person this other person must be. And often as a result of these thoughts were quite harsh and rude with other people. So you start to judge other people by the effects their actions are having on you.

But now what if you're the one running 20 minutes late? What about the times when you've pulled out suddenly in traffic or make another kind of mistake when driving. Usually we connect immediately to our own intentions, right? We see ourselves as decent people. We know that we don't intend any harm and that we really do mean well. We may have been distracted or had a bad day. Maybe in that moment, we just made a mistake.

We may not have been able to help it in that situation, but we give ourselves understanding for that. But when it's the other way around, we're often very quick to go directly from feeling hurt and inconvenienced or threatened to leaping to blame and anger and assuming that the other person had ill intentions, doesn't care about you or is just a bad person. This reaction is so fast and automatic that we often just don't notice how quickly we've jumped to all kinds of conclusions about the other person and their intentions and what their actions mean. We often assume the worst. And then that often brings out the worst in our own behavior.

So how can we overcome this tendency? By reframing every time we find ourselves blaming. So for instance, the next time someone lets you down, puts you out or causes some kind of hurt or makes a mistake, when your instinct is to get angry, see if you can slow things down, take a deep breath and reframe. So instead of assuming you know their motivations and intentions, remind yourself that you really don't, you don't know. So maybe instead of making up stories about the other person, get curious about the different possible causes for their actions. Maybe they forgot because they have a lot of worries on their mind.

Maybe they're running late for reasons they just couldn't help. Maybe they're having a really bad day or maybe they were in a rush. It's possible that they just made a silly mistake, that they don't mean it because we all make mistakes sometimes. So here's the practice for today and ongoing if you care to, is to shift continuously from blaming to reframing. As you reframe your thinking like this, you let go of a lot of conflict and hostility and make space for more understanding, compassion and harmony to arise, both within and without.

As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here. Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Reframing Instead of Blaming

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about reframing instead of blaming. So to start off, I'd like to share with you a quote by Jack Himmelstein from The Center for Understanding Conflict. So he says, "When it comes to conflict, we judge ourselves by our intentions, but we tend to judge others by the effects of their actions on us." I think this sentence actually summarizes a lot of the reasons that we get caught up in conflict, hostility and resentment towards others. So for example, let's say someone's late, 20 minutes late to meet you somewhere, or someone pulls out in traffic.

What do you do in that moment? Right, we often start to feel that we're being disrespected, treated unfairly or you're not being valued. We might start to get really irritated and angry with the other person. You start to think about what a horrible kind of person this other person must be. And often as a result of these thoughts were quite harsh and rude with other people. So you start to judge other people by the effects their actions are having on you.

But now what if you're the one running 20 minutes late? What about the times when you've pulled out suddenly in traffic or make another kind of mistake when driving. Usually we connect immediately to our own intentions, right? We see ourselves as decent people. We know that we don't intend any harm and that we really do mean well. We may have been distracted or had a bad day. Maybe in that moment, we just made a mistake.

We may not have been able to help it in that situation, but we give ourselves understanding for that. But when it's the other way around, we're often very quick to go directly from feeling hurt and inconvenienced or threatened to leaping to blame and anger and assuming that the other person had ill intentions, doesn't care about you or is just a bad person. This reaction is so fast and automatic that we often just don't notice how quickly we've jumped to all kinds of conclusions about the other person and their intentions and what their actions mean. We often assume the worst. And then that often brings out the worst in our own behavior.

So how can we overcome this tendency? By reframing every time we find ourselves blaming. So for instance, the next time someone lets you down, puts you out or causes some kind of hurt or makes a mistake, when your instinct is to get angry, see if you can slow things down, take a deep breath and reframe. So instead of assuming you know their motivations and intentions, remind yourself that you really don't, you don't know. So maybe instead of making up stories about the other person, get curious about the different possible causes for their actions. Maybe they forgot because they have a lot of worries on their mind.

Maybe they're running late for reasons they just couldn't help. Maybe they're having a really bad day or maybe they were in a rush. It's possible that they just made a silly mistake, that they don't mean it because we all make mistakes sometimes. So here's the practice for today and ongoing if you care to, is to shift continuously from blaming to reframing. As you reframe your thinking like this, you let go of a lot of conflict and hostility and make space for more understanding, compassion and harmony to arise, both within and without.

As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here. Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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