You may know about Newton’s Third Law: the theory of Action & Reaction.
To all action, there is an equal reaction (MAJOR simplification!)
Now consider this equation in a relationship:
I criticize my spouse = he gets upset at me.
ME: “I hate it when you read your newspaper during breakfast”
MY SPOUSE: “Where the hell else do you want me to read it???”
If this equation holds true every single time I try it, than I can easily assume that I have an ACTION – REACTION case in my hands.
I can also easily confirm that the equation is not desirable or pleasant. But how can I change it?
There is only one way: Change ACTION, it is the only part of the equation we can modify. REACTION will only change as a result.
Now if I change my behaviour, my spouse’s reaction will have to follow:
ME: “Honey, I love when we chat a few minutes before dashing to work”
MY SPOUSE: “Hmm, what do you want to chat about?”
I suggest to my spouse that I love the alternate behaviour to which my spouse will have to respond in an equally pleasant way. My positive attitude influenced the equation into a more desirable outcome.
It may not be so simple all the time, and I must admit it takes some thought and sometimes a lot of effort to turn equations around. When outcomes need to change to secure your happiness, it is worth the try!
Learning this simple theory is part of learning to be happy after all!