1. Pray about your attitude.
Tell God exactly how you feel about this crazy-maker. He already knows, so you might as well be honest with him. And the need to vent about your stress and frustration will be released into the arms of the only person who can do something about it! In other words, ask God to change and rearrange the crazy-maker in your life, and more than anything, ask God to change your heart too!
2. Stop expecting the other person to change.
The sad facts are that we cannot change someone else. We can influence the other person, but we cannot change the crazy-maker in our life. But if we adjust our expectations when the crazy-maker makes us . . . crazy, then the dynamic shifts. Often the irritation we are feeling is drastically reduced simply because we’ve adjusted our expectations of the other person.
Yeah, yeah, I know some of you are groaning out there! But even though every counselor recommends journaling, it really does help! And of those of you who groaned—how many of you know that exercising is important to your physical health? Well, journaling is like the exercise of your heart, mind and relationships, and is necessary to bring and maintain that health. I like to address my journalings to God. But you can simply write out your thoughts and feelings about the crazy-maker in your life, and it will help you to feel better and, most importantly, help you to gain perspective. We all need more perspective in our relationships—especially with the crazy-makers in our lives.
4. Find one or two ways you can positively impact the situation.
It may seem hopeless at times, but often there is at least one thing that you can do to improve the way you feel. For example, if the other person resists doing things your way, then stop suggesting ideas for him or her. Instead, ask “What are some strategies you think we should try to deal with this problem?” Of course, that means you might have to give up control of how the situation is handled, and that can be harder than dealing with resistance! But often the other person comes up with at least one solution that you both can agree on and do. This also can ignite personal responsibility in the other person, who may have needed that vote of confidence from you in the first place. As the other person feels you are listening to his or her concerns or just sharing the decision-making, you may see the crazy-maker’s fears and resistances transforming into cooperation. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!