Did you know any problem you are experiencing is neutral?
Yep. It’s true. Neutral. Meaning not good or bad. Not positive or negative.
What you think about your problem is what makes it positive or negative. Not the problem itself.
Let’s say your friends went to dinner without inviting you. Then posted pictures on Instagram and you saw them.
Your brain goes to work on this information.
You may think some of the following…
That was rude of them. How inconsiderate! I have terrible friends. I knew they didn’t like me. No one likes me. I have noticed so-and-so hasn’t been friendly to me lately.
It’s me. I am not fun. I am boring. I don’t have enough money. I am not good enough. It’s my weight, they think I shouldn’t be eating out. It’s my kids, no one can stand my kids. I haven’t been friendly enough, maybe they think I don’t want to go out with them. And the stories you attach to this circumstance go on and on.
However, given the same situation another person may feel relieved they weren’t invited to dinner when they see the Instagram picture of their friends.
They may think…
Looks like they had a great time. I love that restaurant, I hope they did too. I have such fun friends. My friends know how busy I have been. How considerate they didn’t add another social outing onto my plate.
It’s just perspective.
How do you choose to think about your situations and circumstances? Are your choices making you feel the emotions you want to feel?
If they are not, you have the power to change it.
Here is how.
The first step is to identify the facts about your circumstance. Facts are always neutral. They can be proven in a court of law and they are boring. They have no emotion.
The facts: your friends went to dinner and didn’t invite you. They posted pictures of it on Instagram. You saw the pictures.
The facts are not a problem. They don’t have feelings.
What you attach to the facts makes them a problem.
This is why people can have the exact same facts and circumstances and have completely different opinions about them.
But your feelings are hurt (which is okay) and you did want to be invited to dinner with you friends.
You state the facts.
My friends went to dinner and didn’t invite me. They posted pictures on Instagram and I saw them.
Grab paper and pen and get to writing (insert your own problem).
What are your thoughts about these facts? What do you WANT your thoughts to be about these facts? Remember you are looking for thoughts that serve you. Not self-pity thoughts or thoughts that question if you are good enough, fun enough, skinny enough etc.
Try on some new thoughts. Like you would try on new shoes. See what thoughts make YOU feel better. This is a great time to be honest with yourself.
Examples you could try.
That looks fun. I will plan a dinner get together next month.
I wasn’t invited and that is okay.
I have fun friends.
I will tell my friends I saw their cute pictures online and would love to come with them next time.
That hurt my feelings I wasn’t invited and that is okay. I am allowed to feel hurt. Let the feeling of hurt come in. Welcome hurt, let it in and let it stay. The emotion of hurt can’t hurt you, no need to be scared of it or resist it. Besides if you resist it or try to lie to yourself about it, it will most likely persist.
As you come up with your new thought make sure it evokes a pleasant feeling in you. If you can’t get to pleasant yet, try on thoughts that at least produce neutral feelings for you.
Our thoughts create our feelings.
If you want to feel better, you have to think better.