Saturday, March 9, 2013

Do Your Thoughts Help or Hinder You?

Dealing with People You Can't Stand By Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner

This guide identifies ten types of difficult people on the job. It shows how to get results with each type and explains: how difficult people think, what they fear and why they act as they do; why difficulty is in the eye of the beholder; and how to cultivate nine "take-charge" skills that turn conflict into cooperation.

Although nannies work in the home, not in an office, the guide can be helpful for in-home childcare providers. The book explains that to be effective with people you can't stand, it is essential that you gain control over your attitude toward the problem people in your life, and accept them as they are.

To find the courage to stand your ground when you want to cry, or restrain yourself when you want to attack, you simply need an attitude adjustment so that your reactions to difficult people are effective. The answer is found in yourself, it is found in your attitude toward the problem person.

The first step is to decide what you want. What attitude will help you get along with your difficult person? Do you want to be calm, confident, assertive, relaxed, caring, patient, or a combination of these? Give the attitude a description name. If you name it, you can do it.

Now, try to find a time or place in your life where positive attitude comes naturally to you and consciously practice acting that way in every day life.

Also remember all those things that your parents said or did that you vowed you would never say or do. Don't you do some of those things anyway? What happened? You modeled those behaviors.

Make it a habit to positively replay the past and pre-play the future in the safety of your mind's eye. The more realistically you imagine responding in a different way, and the more times you repeat the internal fantasy, the stronger the association gets.

Finally, change the way you talk to yourself. The way you look at a situation will dramatically affect your attitude. Have you ever stopped to listen to the way you talk to yourself? Have you ever said to yourself, "I don't get paid for this kind of abuse!" How does this thought affect your attitude and your behavior? Do your thoughts help or hinder you?

Just as what you think has an effect on what you say, so does what you say to yourself influence what you think. When you change the way you talk to yourself about a problem, you change the way you think about it at the same time. Take charge over the things you say to yourself. Become conscious of the things you tell yourself and substitute positive, supportive thoughts for negative ones. As you listen to your internal dialogue, make sure that your language helps you to get where you want to go.

You must learn to speak purposefully to yourself to change your attitude for the better. You can develop a few quick-draw mental comments that help you to keep your sense of humor and perspective around difficulties. For example, here are some great things to say to yourself, with brief explanations of how they are true:

1. "I go for what I want, and I want what I get."
2. "Somewhere in this experience is an opportunity."
3. Any experiences I can learn from is a good one."
4. "I can become flexible."
5. I know that anything is possible."
6. "Oh well."
7. "All things must pass."
8. "This used to bother me."
9. "In God we trust."

Remember, an occasional attitude adjustment frees you from the stress and leads to success as you bring out the best in people at their worst.

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