Other people are one of the biggest challenges in life, aren't they? Pesky fellows never do what you want them to. And you may practice being mindful and aware. Being aware of when you start to get triggered and start blindly reacting so you can take the half step back and choose how you want to respond.
But other people are still the challenge still, aren’t they? Because they AREN’T that aware, and as someone was saying to me the other day, when they get the grumps, so you inevitably follow - even though you practice being calm.
How do they do it? How do they suck you in? How do they destroy your calm?
The fact is that so many many of us have become so used to feeling how other people are feeling that we’re hooked in. It’s almost a survival mechanism - to try and calm the waters, make everyone else feel okay, because then, the thought goes, well then you can be happy.
Or, they react and are grumpy and snappy, and you - previously relaxed - get all het up too. Zero to Grrrr! in 2 seconds flat.
But what kind of happiness is dependent on someone else’s?
No kind of happiness.
You can't do much about other people's reactions and moods. You just can’t. So get good at un-entangling yourself from theirs. You don’t need them to be happy in order to be happy yourself. If they’re in a funk? By all means see if you can assist, but if they’re not interested or slow to respond, then so be it. No reason for you to follow suit. No reason to throw yourself in the pit too.
Don’t be attached to them being any particular way. Just keep practicing choosing to be present, and therefore content and calm, no matter what is going on around you.
Get good at that, and the fascinating thing you’ll find is when you disconnect (not in an uncaring way) but just staying unattached - calm and centred and good - in many cases they lose the motivation to be grumpy, simply because you're not playing.
Which is interesting isn’t it? Sometimes it takes two to tango. You no dance? There is no dance.
Me thinks you’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice what with all the social occasions this December. Plenty of practice is good!
Go well, Arjuna
PS. Here’s a great way of getting better at all of that, and what a wonderful thing that is!