When was the last time you watched a leaf make its way downstream and get caught up in the flow of a river? The leaf might swirl in circles for several seconds or minutes before breaking free, being dragged under or snagging along the bank. Or it might float for hundreds of miles.
A simple and effective way to reduce negative emotions when thinking of someone you do not get along with is to separate the behavior from the person. Break them up. Think of the behavior and then think about the person. This moment of reflection will focus you on what you have in common instead of reinforcing what you perceive you don't. By taking a minute to think you limit your own reaction or overeaction to one behavior. The pause will increase your capacity for understanding. We all are a bundles of emotions, thoughts and coping skills. We all have light and shadow....more