Why is it that a bad morning at school follows you and becomes a bad afternoon at home?
Why is that a bad day at work follows you and becomes a bad evening at home?
We all have a tendency to hang on to things. But the problem is we end up taking out our problems on those who didn’t create the problem. In other words, our family takes the heat from us because we know they will still love us, even after we unload on them. So we make our problem their problem.
Yes, we all need someone to listen to us vent when we’ve had a bad day, or we’ve been snubbed by someone, or we’ve gotten an after-school detention, or we’ve been chewed out by the boss. But venting is different from transferring. Venting is when we express our hurts to someone who loves us; transferring is when we take out our hurts on someone who loves us.
Dr. Richard Dobbins gave some wise counsel on how to avoid doing this:
“Develop the mental and spiritual ability to put space between your workplace [or school] and your home life. Treat your home life like a sanctuary. Don’t bring the feelings created by being treated unfairly in the workplace [or school] home with you.”
Maybe this will help you. Here’s what I do: I have created a boundary line (in my case it’s a road) over which bad attitudes created during the day cannot cross. As I approach home I remind myself that my family was not who gave me trouble, so I’m not going to bring my trouble home to them. If I need to, I’ll stop my car and sit for a few minutes before I cross that boundary, just to make sure my attitude is right before I cross that boundary line.
Where’s your boundary? Where can you make some space, so that your home becomes (and remains) a sanctuary?