• David Unger, PhD

What is the Most Loving Thing You Can Do?



On the Video page I have a Welcome video which ends with my suggesting to the viewer that they take a moment and do the most loving thing for themselves they can think to do. I then invite them to come to the blog and write about their response.


Now I am not a big statistics guy but I can tell you that the research says that most people will ignore that suggestion and go on about their business. They won’t do the loving thing and they won’t write their response. One could argue that going about their business is the most loving thing they could do in that moment. I am not going to argue with that, but I am going to throw out some things for you to consider about how you conduct your life.It is not easy knowing what is the most loving thing one can do. One person might have heard that suggestion, thought about if for a moment and then clicked on some other link on the site. Maybe they couldn’t quickly come up with an answer and decided to let it go and move on.


There is a lot to be said for letting go of things that are not easily resolved. Most of us when we were kids wanted to play an instrument. Perhaps our parents bought us a guitar or keyboard and we played for a little bit, got frustrated because it was not that easy to learn and we gave up and moved on. Some of our parents “forced” us to continue and other parents let us move on. What do you think would be the best most loving thing a parent could do in that situation?


One challenge we all face in life is when things are difficult and frustrating and we want to give up and walk away. We need to learn how to persevere through those situations and we also need to learn when to let go. In order to live a healthier happier life you need both skills. Most of us tend to lean one way more than the other. Should the child persevere through the frustration or give up and move on? Your answer to that depends upon your own upbringing and how your family resolved those kinds of issues.


The reality part of the answer is while it is fine to resolve that issue either way the goal is to provide instances of both resolutions so as an adult you have the option and skill to both persevere and to let go.Knowing how best to love yourself and those around you is a skill. We all can learn how to improve our abilities if we want. Most of us know the quotation, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That simple quote provides a pretty good guideline about how to be loving although you will find I have an alternative suggestion in my Parenting Your Teen book.


To be truthful, as a therapist I have run across people whose parents were so abusive that what they think they want from others is to be abused. It isn’t really what they want, but it is what they are familiar with and for many people the familiar often takes precedence. We are comfort seeking creatures. Even if it means the comfort is familiar abuse. Some people would rather be called stupid than smart. Their being stupid was drummed into them so much that they don’t trust someone who calls them smart and would rather be with someone who sees them for what they really think they are – stupid.


This is very unfortunate and keeps a lot of therapists at work. Which gets us back to what is the most loving thing you could do right now for you. What do you think that could be?

#loving #frustration #relationships

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