Today I’m going to tell you how song lyrics from a Frozen 2 song can change your communication and relationship. My daughter is about to turn 5 so I have seen Frozen 2 a few times now…don’t worry there will be no spoilers here.
Towards the middle of the movie Anna is faced with a difficult task, to move forward in the face of pain she sings the song “The Next Right Thing”. Sitting in the movie theater watching this unfold I was struck once again by this concept, because to be fair it’s not fully an original concept in Frozen 2; 12 step programs have used the statement “Do the next right thing” for a while now. I do love that Frozen 2 brings it more main stream. It’s a powerful message.
You’re probably wondering how the heck does that song change your communication and relationship…I’m going to tell you now.
Many times, in communication and our relationships we’re faced with a choice. Our partner does something that pisses us off or hurts us. They miss their chance to do their right thing and go full speed into their ineffective behavior. And there it is! Our choice. Do we give up and hop on the ineffective behavior train or do we stop and DO OUR NEXT RIGHT THING.
Let me give you and example, my husband has a bad day and he comes home and snaps at me over something I see as unimportant. Path 1 is I snap back and we then have a super bad night full of irritation which could escalate into a full-blown fight. Path 2, regardless of his behavior I take the opportunity to flex my own “next right thing” muscle in our communication and I can let him know that his comment felt snappy or take a bit of space for myself and not respond until I know I can do so in a way that is respectful to both of us.
Almost every day we’re faced with many opportunities between these 2 paths. Whether its the way we communicate something, following through with a commitment even if our partner doesn’t, or simply choosing our effective, health behavior even if our partner is stuck in their ineffective behavior. Please notice I said SIMPLE there not EASY. This choice is hard…just ask Anna…she didn’t want to push on…but she did…ok she did because she was written that way…but just because I am using a cartoon as an example doesn’t mean it is only possible to do this in fantasy.
It can absolutely happen in reality. So, I challenge you, this week find an opportunity in your communication or relationship to do your next right thing. Once you do pay attention to what happens…how does your partner react or feel…how do you feel? Because I can tell you even if it doesn’t improve things right away, you will feel better sticking to your own integrity in the face of something difficult.
If you find you need help looking at what ineffective behavior you get stuck in or how to do your next right thing when faced with struggle, reach out to us for a free consultation. We can help!
Stacy Lee, LMFT, has been employed at The Couples Institute in Menlo Park, CA, since 2008. She has trained with relationship experts Ellyn Bader, Ph.D and Peter Pearson, Ph.D. to provide innovative tools to couples and individuals. In 2019, Stacy became the Clinical Director of the institute’s therapy services. She is passionate about providing people with quality resources which includes building a network of skilled therapists to reach more couples and individuals.