“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz
It seemed like a simple task. Please switch my gym membership from gold to silver level. I’m not cancelling, just switching.
That was now the third time I repeated my request, each time a little more calmly and a little more slowly, despite the beginnings of blood boiling feelings.
The person on the other end of the phone could not have been ruder. It was as if I was asking for a kidney instead of a membership change. A harsh tone and harsher words ensued. Why, I still have no idea.
You have undoubtedly met them. You have maybe been one, once or twice.
Why are some people continually difficult to deal with? What makes Joe easy to get along with and John such a struggle? Here are the major reasons and what can be done about it.
We love it when we are acknowledged. We may not be crazy about when we are criticized, but it beats Option #3: being ignored.
Being ignored is a terrible feeling for humans and one that we avoid like the plague. When this occurs, some people revert to “problem child” mode. These are the set of behavioral responses that are so ingrained that it is a reflexive series of actions. It is the default mode.
When you find yourself in such a situation, ask the big question: What is my positive intention here? What am I trying to accomplish? (Or: What is the other person trying to accomplish?)
If you can leave enough of the heated emotions aside, clearing enough space for some patience and I dare say, compassion, the root cause of the behavior often becomes crystal clear.
What are you trying to accomplish? Great. Let’s find a way of getting what you want in a healthy fashion…
If we could somehow, some way reduce fear, 99% of the world’s problems would be resolved. Fear causes more complications and melodramatic dilemmas than all other emotions combined.
Fear is typically at the root when dealing with difficult people. They want something and fear it is either not being heard and will never be heard, or they are not deserving of having their voices heard in the first place.
Are these true? Probably not. They are stories we tell ourselves and believe as fact. Spoken enough, cycled enough in our heads, we proceed to “know them as truth” and act based upon these fictional anecdotes. Our bodies react with—you guessed it—fear.
Fear is a root emotion that originates from the kidney energy. The kidney energy is the source of all energy. Knowingly or unknowingly, we try to protect this at all times. Fear is the prime, albeit most ineffective method. How ironic!
Steering the person away from this base emotion is the key here. By choosing your words carefully and speaking them kindly, you can help divert a person from fear into the more advantageous and effective emotions. Once this occurs, the rest is easy.