I believe you should always be on time. I get angry when people are late because I believe it is disrespectful.
Joe does not believe being on time is important. He has said so. He is usually late.
So who has the problem here? I do.
Why? Because I am angry. Joe is happy.
Joe doesn’t even know there is a problem, because I haven’t told him yet. Let’s say I never tell him and stew in my anger believing everybody believes you should be on time and that everyone believes being late is disrespectful. I will be angry with Joe and Joe will have no clue why I am angry because I have assumed he believes the same things I believe about punctuality.
Now let’s say I have told Joe that it makes me angry when he is late, but he is still always late and doesn’t understand why it is such a big deal. He doesn’t believe it is a big deal.
Joe is not going to change his belief in punctuality. He has demonstrated that. I can’t change Joe’s belief, only he can.
So what can I do?
I can choose to change my belief that Joe should always be on time and that will in turn change my belief that I have been disrespected and then I won’t be angry at Joe anymore.
I can stop making appointments with Joe.
As you can see…
Joe doesn’t make me angry…
I make myself angry because my beliefs don’t allow me to accept Joe as he is.
Once I put this in print, the whole concept appears absurdly obvious. But in all honesty, I didn’t truly comprehend the concept until yesterday when someone close to me had a problem in her personal relationships.