How do you cope in small spaces?
"To be stuck inside a mobile with the Memphis blues again" as Bob Dylan so poignantly phrased it going from living in a house to living in a recreational vehicle has some unforeseen difficulties. Most assuredly everyone you meet will be bedazzled by your transformation and with more than a little better than the wish that they too could live happily ever after as the fairytale goes.
Make no mistake about it if there was anything that annoyed you about your own personal habits or those of with whom you choose to travel being in a confined space acts like a catalyst on those feelings. You know you are there when suddenly you feel overcome by rage and annoyance. What is puzzling is the insignificant triggers that may cause this which normally you could deal with in your housebound existence.
Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in a confined space (sub mariners, felons and astronauts) will all agree that as Sartre said "Hell is other people." It is important to catch this unconscious hostility before it mushrooms and obliterates your good judgment.
Too many people think that simplifying their lives will eliminate their hardship
As the Dalai Lama so carefully pointed out simply making your life less complicated does not excuse you from the four noble truths of Buddhism which are suffering, illness, old age and death. Too many people think that simplifying their lives will eliminate their hardship and become disillusioned when they start to face those issues without any their usual escapes that living in a house provides.
There is nothing any harder than learning to be civil in a small space. Even Shakespeare was prone to having "large thoughts in a small room." The essence of this attitude is to be open and aware of the other person. Aside from listening carefully without commenting or directing the conversation back to you; the major difficulty is sticking to understanding what that person is dealing with here and now, right in front of you.
As in any relationship you have a choice of either listening and solving problems together or ignoring and arguing until somebody gets too tired. Social psychologists are quick to point out that a major cause for impulsive violence is overcrowding. The first thing you need to learn is the ability to quiet your own feelings and desires and really pay attention to the person you are sharing such a small space with. Along with this is an ability not to get engaged in criticizing or attempting to solve their difficulties.
There is no greater love than knowing someone so well and still appreciating them...
On the positive note this is an opportunity to both test your patience and get to know someone extremely well. It is one you can truly forgive their faults and enjoy the pleasure of being around them that you realize things may work out. There is no greater love than knowing someone so well and still appreciating them.
About Dr. Kevin Kappler PhD:I have been a psychologist with over 30 years of experience doing therapy with individuals, couples, families children and adolescents. I have had many years experience consulting with people over the phone and through email since I have retired.Read more here