Have you ever said something and regretted it? Do you feel like your emotions come flying out of your mouth before you can filter them? Do you find yourself hurting your loved ones with harsh words or disinterested comments?
I know I sure do. Lately, I found myself controlled by my emotions, over-analyzing everything my parents or friends say and bottling up hurt feelings.
I felt like a slave to my emotions and sensitivities.
I blamed it on hormones, lack of sleep, etc., but ultimately I realized that it was a HEART issue.
I was ignoring the conscious action I had to take to harness my emotions and saddle my feelings.
Finally, I became so sick of having my relationships ruined and my life dictated by silly emotions, that I pulled out my prayer journal and wrote down nine relationship resolutions.
Girl, don’t let your loose lips and fickle feelings dictate how you live your life.
Here are 9 ways to help take control of your relationships and your life:
1. Don’t Take Your Insecurities out on them. When those pesky insecurities arise, don’t passive aggressively take them out on your loved ones, but instead take the thought captive, give it to God, and make it obedient to Christ.
For example, I love the comedian John Crist. His videos crack me up and I can’t even think of them without snort-laughing (don’t judge;)).
I was showing them to a friend who, although he found the comedy entertaining, admitted that he hadn’t seen many of the videos due to a busy schedule. In my warped insecurities, I immediately thought “he must think I’m so immature and that I spend all my time watching YouTube…How can he be so judgy??”
In reality, he was just making conversation. *facepalm*
I feel so stupid now; I could’ve avoided all that mental angst if I’d only kept my insecurities at bay.
Don’t let the lies of the Enemy convince you that the people God has put in your life are thinking poorly of you or are deceiving you. Don’t let your irrational insecurities cause you to doubt the love of those closest to you.
Don’t let your insecurities cause you to doubt the love of those closest to you.
2. Seek to Serve, Not Scoff
My mom asked me to fold the laundry. I rolled my eyes, mumbled under my breath, and sighed loudly. All she asked of me was a five minute laundry fold, yet it brought out the worst in me. My mind was focused on my own inconvenience instead of seeking to serve and show her the love of Christ.
When someone you love asks you to do something reasonable, don’t harshly snap or grumble, but instead seek to serve them. Set out to hold your tongue when anything other than love threatens to escape the door of your lips.
3.Be Excited to See Them.
When someone you love returns from an absence, whether it be a trip across the world or a run to the grocery store, stop what you’re doing for a few moments and greet them with a warm smile and genuine, cheerful word.
Don’t you love the people that hug you and light up when you see them? Doesn’t it brighten your day when someone is happy to see you? I know I feel so much more loved when someone cares enough to tell me I’m missed. Be that for your parents, friends, siblings, boyfriend, fiancé, husband, whomever. God has put in your life! Give a welcome they love to come back to.
Give a welcome they love to come back to.
4. Listen with your mind, not your emotions.
Growing up, it has been hard for me to not take advice as criticism. Especially when my parents offer correction, I feel attacked and immediately get defensive. The book of Proverbs reiterates that a wise person listens to instruction...something our pride and emotions often hinder us from doing.
When a loved one gives you advice or makes a comment that awakens negative feelings within you, listen genuinely, without snapping or interrupting. Seek to understand with your mind, not your emotions.
If you doubt the integrity of their advice or feel sensitive or hurt, ask them questions to clarify and thank them for their advice. If you disagree or doubt their intentions, be open and just ask them. Tell them how you feel and be open to their response.
Seek to understand with your mind, not your emotions.
5. Really be in the moment.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m talking with my close friends and family, my mind is listening, all the while going 90 miles a minute somewhere else.
When you’re with your loved ones, live in the moment with them. Appreciate not only their physical presence, but listen and tend to their soul, their heart. Realize that every moment could be your last to truly enjoy and love them.
Realize that every moment could be your last to truly enjoy and love them.
6. Love by Listening.
When spending quality time with those you love, focus on their lives and their souls. Put their needs first by listening without distraction (that includes mental distractions), asking genuine questions, and cherishing the answers.
The purest way to love is to listen.
7. Believe the best.
Thinking the worst is one of the easiest ways to sink into a pit of even more insecurities.
Instead, when you feel hurt or doubt the ones God has put in your life, give them the benefit of the doubt, remembering why you chose to love them in the first place.
Remember why you chose to love them in the first place.
If you’re still bothered by their comment, gently communicate your insecurities and let your loved one put them to rest.
“Love bears all things, believes all things (believes the best of all), hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
8. Reach Out.
When you get into an argument with someone, always be the first to reach out in love to make things better, even if it means apologizing and admitting you were wrong.
You may not feel an overwhelming love and appreciation for them at the time, but make the conscious choice to do the right thing, be mature, and reach out, regardless of your emotions.
Don’t let your temporary emotions cause long-term resentment.
9. Speak Life.
Knowing someone intimately exposes you to the deepest, sweetest parts of that person. It also reveals their worst characteristics.
When you’re chatting with your girlfriends, coworkers, classmates or family members, ignore the impulse to speak negatively of those you love. Choose instead to actively speak life and share at least one thing that you admire/love about the person.
When you dwell on another’s faults in your conversations, it builds resentment and subtly builds a barrier between you and your loved one.
Tear down walls with your words, don’t build them.
Tear down walls with your words, don’t build them.
Improving your relationships means actively choosing to control your words, expressions, and actions. It means choosing to think the best of someone. It means choosing to deal with your insecurities and remember why you chose to love that person in the first place. It means choosing to speak love, not hate.
Lord, let me bite my tongue, only opening my mouth in Your love.
It’s not easy putting others’ needs first. But it’s not a suggestion; it’s a command. Only by actively choosing to surrender our minds and lips to Christ can we ever truly have a thriving relationship.
I know it’s hard, Girl. I snapped at my mom today too.
But luckily we have a beautiful Savior who knows our hearts and gives us His strength and patience to keep loving and pressing forward.
Love can be achieved. Don’t give up.