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Dealing with Difficult People? Learn to Handle them in a Constructive Way

How Do You Deal?

Do you end up [tag-tec]dealing with difficult people[/tag-tec] on a regular basis? If so, are there times when you want to just run in hide, or click your heels and make them disappear? Or are you the kind of person that gets angry and combative right back at them? Either way, these situations can be very stressful. But don’t worry…

The good news is that there are ways to deal with these people that are much less stressful and you’ll also end up feeling much more satisfied with the outcome.

Believe it or not, some people don’t let these kinds of situations bother them. They simply stay calm and stress-free when confronted with upset and anger. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what they know? Well now you can! Here are a few simple tips that will help you breathe a sigh of leave the next time you end up dealing with an angry person.

Often times when we realize someone is upset the first thing we do is take personal responsibility. We believe that the only reason they’d be disturb–and letting us about it–is that it must be about us. The first thing to understand is that when managing these kinds of situations is that it’s not about you, it’s really all about them!

I can guess what you’re probably thinking: “What you mean don’t take it personally, when there are someone screaming at me and telling me it’s my fault!”

I understand how difficult this will be at first, but when you begin to appreciate this one point, it becomes much easier to avoid taking these things personally: Every statement you hear someone say comes from a deep and inherent desire to satisfy their needs or to support something they value. And you most likely do the same thing – its normal human behavior.

Unquestionably Everything stems from either Needs and Values.

As an example, someone who is upset may just have a need for consideration, or they might in reality value dependability. By getting upset, they are attempting to satisfy these needs or honor what they value.

Let’s say that an angry man has a conversation with Gandhi (while he was alive). And he said to Gandhi, “You’ve never had a difficult life so don’t pretend to you know what suffering is. People wait on you hand and foot! You’re such a phony!”

Can you imagine Gandhi responding to this as some people would– defensively, with anger and critical words? “What do you mean phony? Try doing what I do every day… you wouldn’t last a minute. You an ignorant little man– you probably don’t even work for a living!”

Now I’m sure you can imagine where this conversation would end up!

It’s almost impossible to think of Gandhi reacting this way, but why not ? What does he know that most of us don’t?

Gandhi knows that the man upset stems from his own challenging life and is just venting about his own pain. The man is angry because his needs have not been satisfied, and things in his life are out of harmony with his values.

So, from now on, when confronted with difficult people, try to remind yourself that absolutely everything people say or do is an effort to meet their needs or support something they value.

The next you’ll are in one of these uncomfortable situation–STOP–don’t justifying yourself, instead start by reminding yourself that their anger isn’t about you, it’s about them and their situation.

Don’t take it to personally.

Consider this: Do you want your happiness to be dependent upon others, or do you long for the kind of happiness that you have complete control over? Take charge of the situation by aligning your values with the actions you take.

Another great way to stay calm when dealing with others’ who are upset or angry is to be curiosity. Ask questions such as, “Hmm, they seems very tense and upset. I wonder what’s going on in their life that has them feel this way.”

Stop and take a if you minutes to empathize with their circumstances and think, “If I behaved the way they’re behaving toward me, what could possibly be going on in my life?” Then guess what it could be.

Changing your focus of attention in this way can truly set you free. You’ll stop acting or feeling defensive. This focus will lead you to a much more peaceful place and will help you to fill your life with happiness, and a multitude of satisfying relationships you’ll truly enjoy.

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.”
~ Albert Einstein

Let’s review: – Tension and defensiveness isn’t the only way to deal with difficult people. – everything people say or do is in support of something they value or to meet some need. – Their upset is not about you, don’t take it personally. Take on the attitude of being curious. – Your happiness is not dependent on how others act or what they say.

When dealing with difficult people, this approach will help you open the door to a renewed sense of happiness and freedom you will no longer be restricted by your circumstances. You get to choose how you respond and what actions you will take.

If you want to start interacting differently with people who are upset, you must first practice the essential skills that create a more peaceful, happy life. If you’re ready to create that kind of life now, sign up for our thought-provoking and motivational Weekly Action Tips eMail series. The sign-up form is at the top right hand side of your screen. Don’t wait, sign up today. You’ll be happy you did.

With love and great appreciation,
Beth


Relationship Advice – Tip of the Week

Got Stress in your [tag-tec]Relationship[/tag-tec]?

relationship tension

Do you want to relieve some of the [tag-tec]stress and tension in your relationships[/tag-tec]? If so… Learn the difference between reacting to a situation and responding to it. You might ask, why would this make any difference to me ?

Reacting versus Responding

We say this over and over again, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice. Almost every time I find myself upset, frustrated, or confused about my relationships, if I look close enough, I always discover that I’m reacting unconsciously to something that’s happening in the situation. This unconscious reaction has become a habitual pattern–created from my old negative limiting beliefs. When I discovered that over 50% of all my stress and tension came from the fact that I was reacting rather than responding in situations I was able to start down the path to creating more [tag-tec]happy, healthy satisfying relationships[/tag-tec].

So what’s the difference between reacting in responding…

In the Art of Conscious Connection eCourse, we define reacting, re-enacting past behavior based on my habitual patterns and limiting beliefs, opposed to responding–which we define as, the ability to take respon-sibility for what occurs and make conscious choices about what to do and how we want to act.

How do you begin taking respon-sibility?

The first and easiest step to start practicing responding rather than reacting is to notice how you feel–am I tense, uncomfortable, irritated… As soon as you notice any emotion that is less than enjoyable, STOP and ask yourself these questions: “Am I about to do or say something that I might regret? Is there something I want to consciously do or say in the situation that is different than I was about to do?

You might be surprised at how differently things start to go in your relationships.

As Einstein said, the definition of Insanity is, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Until next time…

with love and a commitment to your happiness

Beth


How Do You Deal With Angry People?

Like most things, how you respond to another person’s anger is probably different depending upon your relationship with them and the circumstance. At the same time, you’ll probably recognize some patterns in how you deal with anger

Do you shut down, clam up, and hope they’ll go away? Do you puff up and try to out-bluster them? Do you start explaining, apologizing, or simply flee the scene?

If any of this sound like you, then you’re probably missing the two most important parts of dealing effectively with someone else’s anger, whether it’s a minor upset or full-blown rage.

First, you’ve probably heard someone say, “They are angry at me.” or “I made them angry.” This is the first fundamental mistake most people make when dealing with anger. They falsely believe that someone else can be angry “with them” or that they “can cause” another person’s anger.

The truth is, another person’s upset, anger, or even rage is never ever about you. It is always about how scared the other person is about whether or not they’re going to get something they value, keep something they value, or lose something they value. In other words, it’s always about them and what they value. Always.

Stop Taking It Personally!

When you realize this you can begin to stop taking other people’s anger personally. And this gives you the freedom to really get underneath their anger and create practical, effective solutions that get to the heart of the matter.

Beth and I co-authored an article about this topic that appeared in this month’s issue (Sept. ’08) of the NonviolentCommunication.com eNewsletter. You can read more about this idea of “not taking it personally” there. But I wanted to expand a little bit on one of the points that we made in that article.

And that’s the second most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with anger. And that’s to apply your sharply focused attention on separating the “stimulus” for anger from the “clause” of anger. I say “sharply focused attention” because this is no simple task to separate stimulus from cause, a specially given most people’s lack of experience or training in distinguishing between the two.

Separating Stimulus from Cause

Take the two statements I used as examples above. Both of these statements imply that the stimulus and cause of the other person’s anger is the person making the statement. In fact, it must’ve been something the person said or did, didn’t say, or didn’t do that stimulated this anger reaction in the other person.

But even if you plug in these facts, the statements still do not get to the root of the anger. “Bill is angry because I didn’t return his phone call” “Mary is angry because I didn’t pick her up at the airport on time.” Again, these actions or inactions are only the stimulus for Bill’s and Mary’s anger.

At the root of the anger is their belief that they’re not getting something they value. In this case it might be something like consideration, predictability, or caring. So if you can apply your sharply focused attention to determining what it is that Bill and Mary might value that’s missing for them, you’re much more likely to begin to have a conversation with them about how important those things are to them and how they might be able to get them in the future.

Not Getting What You Want Never Makes You Angry

But even given all that, it’s important to realize that the bills and Mary’s anger is not caused by the fact they are not getting something that is important to them.

So what is the cause? Both Bill and Mary are afflicted with “should” thinking and have adopted the strategy of “being angry” as the best way to get other people to do what they “should” do.

What is “Should Thinking” you ask? Well, that’s the subject of another post.

Until then, I am committed to your success,
Neill Gibson


The Fear of Taking Responsibility

Why don’t people fess up when they’ve done something “wrong”?

In our work, we believe that fear of taking responsibility is a result of being “Domesticated”. We define Domestication as any Training Process that uses a system of punishments and rewards to accomplish its goals.

We enjoy how [tag-tec]Don Miguel Ruiz[/tag-tec] describes this in his book [tag-tec]The Four Agreements[/tag-tec].
“Children are domesticated the same way that we domesticate a dog, a cat, or any other animal. In order to teach a dog we punish the dog and we give it rewards. We train our children whom we love so much the same way that we train any domesticated animal: with a system of punishment and reward.

We are told, “You’re a good boy or girl,” when we do what Mom and Dad want us to do. When we don’t, we are “a bad girl or boy.”

When we went against the rules we were punished; when we went along with the rules we got a reward. We were punished many times a day, and we were also rewarded many times a day. Soon we became afraid of being punished and also afraid of not receiving the reward.”

Becoming an Auto-Domesticated Animal

The domestication is now so strong that at a certain point we no longer need anyone to domesticate us. We don’t need parents, the school, or the church to domesticate us. We are so well trained that we become Auto-Domesticated animals.”

We can now domesticate ourselves according to the same system of punishment and reward. We [tag-tec]punish ourselves[/tag-tec] when we don’t follow the rules according to our belief system; we reward ourselves when we are “good boys and girls.”

We’ve all grown up in this Auto-Domesticating culture.
(see the work of [tag-tec]Riane Eisler[/tag-tec]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riane_Eisler
and [tag-tec]Walter Wink[/tag-tec]: http://www.walterwink.com/books.html)

Our culture practices judging whether we are good or bad, right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, worthy of reward or deserve punishment …

[tag-tec]Integrity[/tag-tec] vs. [tag-tec]Morality[/tag-tec]

This causes people to confuse Integrity with Morality. We define Integrity as: Being true to your [tag-tec]Chosen Values[/tag-tec] and your Highest Self, vs. Morality, which is: judging the rightness or wrongness of something according to Culturally Learned moral standards. Morality is the practice of judging what’s good or bad, right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, worthy of reward or deserves punishment.

In this culture people get Integrity & Morality mixed up so they believe that failing to act as others expect will cause them to be judged as Bad and Wrong, or worthy of punishment. So people fear the [tag-tec]punishment[/tag-tec] that will follow from the judgments of others such as: How irresponsible / inconsiderate / selfish / stupid … or What a jerk / creep / idiot, and so on.

In this situation it’s no wonder there are so few souls willing to martyr themselves to the consequences of these moralistic judgments.

What Would You Prefer?

Given all this, it seems to us that the more important questions are: How do we move from a culture where we try and control people’s actions through fear of punishment and desire for rewards to one where we elicit the actions we want from others by engaging in a compassionate dialogue that is focused on gaining clarity about everyone’s needs in a situation (such as one where someone has acted “irresponsibly”), thereby eliciting a sincere agreement to participate together in a way that serves the highest good of everyone involved?

And as an important prerequisite: How can we gain the level of [tag-tec]Values Intelligence[/tag-tec] needed to focus our attention on maintaining integrity with what is most important to us (at the essential, core, “spiritual” level) rather than being driven by our culturally learned, habitual thinking?

So (as a shamelessly self-promoting plug) if you find these questions intriguing you may be interested to know that much of our work is dedicated to finding practical and effective answers to these last two questions.


How to Turn Your Anger into an Advantage?

Tag: Anger Management,Personal GrowthBeth Banning

[tag-tec]Angry[/tag-tec] Much?

Does your temper ever cause difficulties in your important [tag-tec]relationships[/tag-tec]or elsewhere in your life? Have you read books on [tag-tec]how to control your anger[/tag-tec] or even taken [tag-tec]anger management [/tag-tec]classes but still struggle to apply the techniques you learned? If so, and you’re ready to dramatically improve this area of your life now, then here are a few simple tips that will support you immediately.

When You Go Within You Don’t Go Without

Making changes in this area of your life requires you to truly understand your motives, your values, and your intentions. When you are experiencing anger, you are focusing your attention on the negative things in your life–what you don’t want.

In reality, your anger comes from an unidentified value disguised as dissatisfaction with something going on “out there”. Identifying this underlying value is critical for shifting your anger into an opportunity that you can turn to your advantage.

When you learn to focus your attention inward–identifying what’s missing for you in situations–you will discover that you can replace the anger with a sense of inner connection and create a new found determination to experience a quality of satisfaction and happiness that only comes with being present to your most authentic self.

“It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won’t go.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Using Your Anger to Everyone’s Advantage

When you learn to do this you’ll find you can get what you really want in ways that can satisfy not only you, but others around you. The next time you experience anger, consider trying a new “anger management” strategy that helps you focus your attention on what you truly want. When you turn your attention to what you want that’s missing in the situation you can stop focusing on what you think is wrong and start directing your energy toward getting what you want.

Your[tag-tec] anger[/tag-tec] can give you the opportunity to gain more clarity about what’s most important to you, and lead you to solutions that will be much more satisfying in your life. Choose to apply consistent, focused attention on what you truly want in life, rather than becoming angry and upset about what you don’t want.

As soon as you make a conscious decision to turn your anger to your advantage, this new technique will begin to improve your life.

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