Using the principles of DIRM can greatly minimize or even prevent many of the upsets and frustrations that caregiver’s encounter each and every day. Very simply, DIRM is an acronym for “Does It Really Matter?” And, if one takes the time to ask this essential question, before reacting or responding, they find the answer is all too often a resounding “NO.” It doesn’t matter.
Think about it. How many times do we get upset because they are wearing a coat when it’s a 100°, asking the same question 20 times, or helping in ways that are not helpful? And, this short list of annoying happenings goes on and on. These are not things that we can change. We can change how we respond. There are going to be “battles”, but we can use these principles to help choose them more wisely.
Keeping in mind the following quote by Dolly Parton promotes a healthier mental attitude.
“We cannot direct the wind,
but we can adjust the sails.”
Although it’s difficult at times, we need to accept that our loved-ones are not going to change. Things are never going to be the way they used to be. By choosing to have a different perspective, everyone’s attitudes and temperaments are better. Also, you are more likely to achieve the desired outcome.
Saying the word DIRM with outreached hands, palms up and in kind of a chanting, meditative way will almost always put a smile on your face and lighten the mood. For those times that you think it really does matter – stop, reflect, take a deep breath, say DIRM; and, then ask yourself:
- Who is it a problem for?
- Could it be harmful to them or another?
- Do they have any unmet needs – such as worries, fears, loss of control, feelings of uncertainty?
Hopefully, then, you will realize that their happiness is really all that matters. It will keep your sanity intact.
by Pam Kovacs Johnson