What’s worse? Your partner has an affair or your partner wants to have an affair? What if you got there just in time to stop it happening…would that be better? You might be able to make yourself a barrier to it actually happening, but you can’t create a barrier to their desire for it to happen.
Same with lots of things in life. You can show your kid how not to be an arse, but you can’t make them not be an arse sometimes; same with friends, family, colleagues, lovers etc. And being an arse is subjective anyway; maybe they think you’re an arse…maybe you are an arse!
Most of us are reactors, barrier creators, we try to stop bad things happening, but by doing so we haven’t solved anything. We’ve no right to expect anything from anyone. Every one of us is living our own life, so we need to trust everyone around us to do the right thing, but if they don’t (in our opinion)…well there’s not a thing we can do about it.
I’ve gradually taught myself to observe, but not react. You can learn a lot by observing, but you can’t change the will or the desire someone has to do something you don’t like.
By observing and not reacting, not interfering, you get quick answers to life’s little hiccups and you can then move on. Too many people stick with things that are never going to succeed due to an insane dream that they can control things, control other people; it makes for a very unhappy life.
However, sometimes people do stuff just to get a reaction from you. They get a bit annoyed when someone just listens to what they say without going on to express an opinion, offer advice or even make a criticism. This is their problem though and we shouldn’t get drawn in too easily. Sure if actual advice is being sought, give it if you can, otherwise just observe.