The first thing we need to do is broaden your perspective. There are at least 4,628 unique human traits or behaviors identified to date. New ones are being added regularly like “blogging” and “twittering.”
In nature each of these behaviors has helped one of us survive and so had a useful purpose at that moment. Each culture and each person in that culture gives a good or bad label to each behavior based on their value system at that moment. For example, behaviors like smoking cigarettes and eating meat are considered either good or bad based on who you talk to and where they live on our planet.
Smoking cigarettes was once promoted by the medical community for relaxation and stress management. It is because of eating meat that humans are able to live just about anywhere on our planet. At the same time we know both have been linked to cancer. So these were and are useful behaviors depending on who is judging them, their level of awareness and their personal value system.
But in nature each one is neither good nor bad. Rather each is or has been useful at some point to someone. So you could say every behavior is neither good or bad or both good and bad. This is an important point because when you look at difficult behaviors and realize they are both or neither good or bad you are able to deal with them much more effectively.
Identifying Your Big Three Annoying Behaviors
Because of your life experiences you have categorized each one of these 4,628 traits in a good or bad light. Your first task is to list three of the most annoying, frustrating, and rude, disruptive or insensitive behaviors of the person are to write the three behaviors or traits on a piece of paper. Place it beside you as you continue reading Dealing With negative People.They will be very useful.
Life’s Three Guarantees
There is a common saying there are only two guarantees in life…death and taxes. While it is probably true, it is incomplete. The most important one is missing. And that is evolving!Many people connect evolution to Charles Darwin. But, Louis Dollo is equally important to remember.
You are a part of our universe and so are constantly evolving in some way. It is also guaranteed! Louis Dollo, a Belgian biologist, discovered this law a long time ago. Most of us don’t know about it or just ignore it. Dollo’s Law states you cannot not evolve, you cannot not learn from your life’s experiences. It is guaranteed because it is wired into your body you are a ‘perfect learning machine!’My Guarantee
I want to offer you another guarantee based on Dollo’s Law. I guarantee after you have read this book you will be able to explain, to your own satisfaction, any difficult person’s behavior. I hope you are skeptical because that means you are thinking and curious, both great learning motivators.
Owning Your Genius
Look at your ‘writing’ hand, left or right. Do you realize, since you are a member of the human race, you have the same hand as everybody else, including Albert Einstein. Since you have the same hand you also have the same brain as Einstein. So you have the same capacity for genius as Einstein.
If you are doubtful check out Carolyn Abraham’s book, Possessing Genius – The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein’s Brain. She tells the story of Dr. Thomas Harvey who spent many years trying to prove Einstein’s brainwas different. Dr. Harvey was unsuccessful. They have found nothing remarkable about Einstein’s brain from the rest of our species.
Genius is actually like beauty, always in the eye of the beholder. I have an auto mechanic who I think is a genius. He can just listen to my car and usually tell me what is not working. He is so skilled and practiced he displays “genius” in auto repair.
Albert Einstein never finished high school and was considered such a poor student he was asked to leave. Yet he is considered a genius by most people. So if genius is in the eye of the beholder like beauty, then do you ever wonder where your genius is hiding.
‘What if’ questions are always about the future, the place where all our fear is located. But what if you also have a genius to develop and display to the world.
What if dealing with contrary people is one of the forms of your genius you are going to develop today. What if, you will never be quite the same after you finish this book?
What if, you develop a renewed appreciation for yourself as a communicator from reading this What if, you rediscover what a “communication genius”
What does being a genius have to do with “Dealing With Difficult People”…well, just about everything! It takes creativity, openness and dedication to develop a genius in anything whether it is quantum physics or difficult people.
The Will to Live…
Are you aware you were born believing you are a genius? This is a fact! Every child is born with a genetically implanted belief they are a genius. In psychology it is often called “the will to live” or “the will to survive.” You were born believing you could be anything, do anything and have anything.
Much research across many disciplines supports this belief. It was this belief which motivated you to learn to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, talk and so on. If you doubt its presence just ask any two year old if they can do something which you think is impossible for them. I once asked a three year old if she could, “be the boss of all of Canada?” “Yes!”, she replied immediately and with calm certainty.
There is one thing where I know you have genius, there is one thing which you know the most about… more than anyone else…you! You are a genius about you. No one knows you better than you. It is simply not possible. No one knows your dreams, goals, pains, pleasures, fantasies and aspirations.
The Three Most Insulting Words are…
The three most insulting words in any language are “I know you! ” Since no one can read your mind, no one can know you. You will share parts of you with a variety of people. But no one can really know where you have been, who you are now or where you are going next. It is the height of disrespect to suggest otherwise…even if it is well intentioned.
People can guess at these questions but only you will know. And, you are an evolving person, a moving target, constantly changing with your environment. In fact, your full time job in life is knowing you and monitoring your survival and evolution.
So Albert Einstein did not complete high school and yet has often been quoted on a variety of topics outside of physics. Here is one related to Dealing with Difficult People.
“You are or become those things which you repeatedly do.” Einstein. When you learn and practice Dealing With Difficult People your skills becomes a part of you.
Tapping Your Genius
How many of you, like me, have had children at home?
How many of you, like me, were a child once? Just checking to see if you are still there!
How many of you, like me, had to almost die to learn how to live with difficult, annoying, frustrating people?
Now lets tap your genius. Your life experience is a fountain of useful information for dealing with difficult people. Let’s begin with identifying the person from your past who was the most skilled communicator you have ever come across. This person was your “Best Communicator” for Dealing With Difficult People. It might have been a family member, a teacher, a friend, a neighbor or anyone very skilled in Dealing With Difficult People. Recall that person and write down their name.
Now I want you to identify the least skilled communicator you have ever met. This person is your “Worst Communicator” for Dealing With Difficult People. It also might have been a family member, a teacher, a friend, neighbor who was very unskilled in connecting with others. Write down their name as well.
These two memories are going to be a valuable learning resource. They are going to help you to prove to yourself you are a communication genius. They are going to show you have the answers to your questions about “Dealing With Difficult People.”
The New Psychology for Dealing With Negative People
The Two Kinds of Psychology
There are two kinds of thinking in which you and I engage…we are either focused externally or internally. They are both beneficial to our survival but each comes with an equal cost.
If you engage in externally focused thinking it enables you to be more aware of what is going on around you but the cost is you can ignore what is going on inside yourself.
Conversely if you engage in internally focused thinking it enables you to be more aware of what is going on inside yourself but the cost is you can miss what is going on outside of yourself.
External focused thinking is sometimes called, “The Old Psychology” because it was given priority for a long time historically up to about 1960. It focused on studying how to control other people. Internal focused thinking, which came after that in the history of psychology is called “The New Psychology” and focuses on studying how to control ourselves.
If you use externally focused thinking you tend to be more concerned with what is going on outside of yourself. You do this to protect yourself. If you do it too often according to others you can be viewed as being too controlling; avoiding your own responsibilities; or forcing others to do things.
If you use internally focused thinking you tend to be more concerned with what is going on inside yourself. You also do this to protect yourself. If you do it too often according to others you can be viewed as self absorbed, avoiding the needs of others or not caring about others.
Both Are Necessary
Both external and internal focuses are necessary for your survival and for communicating with others. Being able to switch comfortably from one to the other is an especially important skill you need in dealing with difficult people.
Your Value System Determines Your Reality
Your current perception of the world is your version of reality. Your reality is colored by your value system. Your value system is your version of what is good and bad based on your specific life experiences. So your version of reality is unique to you. And so is everyone else’s. So there is no common reality. Our relationships are what we use to negotiate a common or more similar one.
Personal Perceptions Create Conflict
So, your intention may not be noticed by another person because they are using their unique value system to judge your behaviour. Their misperception of your intention or your misperception of their intention are the basis of your conflicts with people.
Seven Costs to Misperceptions
Your misperception of others or their misperception of you have at least seven significant affects:
1. Destroys Respect
2. Undermines Trust
3. Creates Resentment
4. Damages Relationships
5. Reduces Team Spirit, Energy and Focus
6. Destroys Productivity
7. Destroys Organizations
Another Genius – Edward Deming
Are you familiar with the work of Edward Deming? Deming is considered by many the world over as a business genius. Deming was an American management consultant who is credited with helping Japan rebuild its economy after World War Two.
Deming created an approach, a fourteen point system, which enabled the Japanese to become a world leaders in the production of the best products and service in a very short time. And today they still hold this reputation. In the 1980s the Ford Motor Company used this approach to salvage their company from economic disaster. Key aspects of Deming’s approach are found throughout most successful businesses today.
The Core of Deming’s Approach
The core of Deming’s approach is the best products and service can only be created by people:
• with a clear purpose;
• with sound leadership;
• who show trust in each other;
• who are seeking a success not avoiding a failure;
• who work consciously at communication;
• who have a personal pride in their work;
• who are provided with constant learning opportunities.
The Seven Essential Psychological Conditions to Create the Best
To say it another way, Edward Deming said for an individual to create the best product or service at competitive prices requires seven psychological conditions:
1. To Feel Personally Inspired
2. To Have Energy or Enthusiasm
3. To Display Personal Creativity
4. To Feel Respected
5. To Feel a Loyalty To The Organization
6. To Have Effective Leadership
7. To Feel Part of a Team
The Seven Psychological Conditions Create Seven Gifts
But Deming said you can’t buy these seven psychological states from people! No amount of money or benefits will ensure you receive them. Deming said they are “gifts” which people will offer you if they perceive they are:
1. Respected for their Values
2. Treated Fairly
3. Cared About as a Person
4. Listened to Regularly
5. Trusted to Do a Good Job
6. Supported When Needed
7. Challenged When Needed
Using Nature’s Laws and Choice Theory™ For Dealing with Negative People.My Hobby
One of my favorite hobbies is resolving common myths and uncovering their underlying truth. The truth of everything in our universe is based on nature and its laws which surround us and sustain us in life. When I uncover a truth it grounds me reminding me we are part of a big system of Nature with specific natural rules which determine everything.
Neither Good or Bad
So for example, a rainy day is not really bad since it provides moisture to balance the earth’s eco systems. A sunny day is not really good either because it causes all kinds of things like drought, food shortages and sunburns. In nature such events are neither bad or good. They are simply nature balancing its systems to ensure its survival and evolution.
The Milk Myth
How about the myth of milk…the myth cow’s milk is good for you and children. It is full of nutrients. Right? The truth is cow’s milk is the most common food allergy children develop. In addition, the research is so strong linking cow’s milk to heart disease and other adult illnesses there is regular talk of taking all dairy products off Canada’s Food Guide!
The Motivation Myth
Now how about the myth of motivation…the myth you can motivate others. The truth is biologically and psychologically each person is always internally self-motivated. To think others can motivate you is to assume you don’t have a choice of where you focus your attention. This is preposterous!
Just ask any police officer if their gun motivates people to obey them or the law. This is why the most dangerous call they can get at a police station is a domestic dispute. When families are focused internally on their feelings they often ignore the external world entirely and so are very unpredictable and so very dangerous.
You Are A “Control Freak” Just Like Everyone Else
You are internally motivated by how the world should be if you were the boss…if you controlled it. It is of course your fantasy of how the world should be based on your own needs exclusively. So in this context, we are all “control freaks,” we all want the world to run the world in a manner that satisfies us.
Encouraging Others Is Our Only Option
You can certainly encourage others to self motivate, but you have no real control over them. If you want to check this out ask any parent if they can control their child and listen carefully to their response. You can certainly encourage people to do specific things if you appeal to their value system. But controlling others is an illusion. This is a critical awareness when dealing with “difficult people.”
A Father of Modern Psychology
I remember Dr. William Glasser, considered the last surviving “Father of Modern Psychology,” a world renowned psychiatrist, author and speaker, stating influencing others is more difficult than brain surgery. Glasser said with brain surgery you have a cooperative and passive patient. When influencing another person, he added, you may or not have a cooperative participant. This makes it a much more challenging task.
The Happiness Myth
And, how about the myth of happiness. There is a popular myth you seek happiness, pleasure without pain, as your ultimate goal in life. The truth is you seek a state of both physiological (body) and psychological (mind) balance, harmony, or oneness with your surroundings
In biology the term is called “homeostasis.” For example, when you go to your physician with some ailment, your pain tells you one of your body’s organs or systems is off balance. Your doctor will prescribe some action to restore a physiological balance to your body..to restore homeostasis.
In the same way, when I work with a client, they perceive pain, so some part of their thinking is off balance. I prescribe some action (focused accelerated learning) to restore a psychological balance to their mind to restore equilibrium.
Physiological and Psychological Balance
To restore balance to your body or mind is to be “cured” of your dis-ease, your dis-equilibrium or your imbalance. Do you see how our language describes accurately what is happening.
The Balanced State
Balance is called by many different names, but you usually experience it most often and most fully when you are in Nature which is a demonstration of balance. Physics, like every “logy” looks to uncover the laws of nature. Each are constantly uncovering this law of balance in various forms in our Natural world.
So Nature mirrors this special balanced state for you. This is why you usually go to a natural environment to relax. This is why activities like: studying the stars of a clear night; walking a deserted beach; watching a sleeping child; studying a scenic horizon or staring at the sea have such appeal.
The Seven Areas In Which You Seek Balance
You seek balance in seven areas of your life: spiritually in how you connect to the universe; mentally in how you see yourself in your world; vocationally in your job or career; financially in how you manage your wealth; socially in how you connect with people; family wise in how you connect to your family and health wise in how you manage your body. Balance within yourself leads to more wellness in all seven areas of your life!
Adding Self Control And Seven Tools To Deal With Difficult People.
Choice Theory not only explains why people whine, criticize, complain, nag, threaten and blame. It also shows you how to deal with these behaviors quickly and effectively.
The Seven Key Choice Theory’s™ Principles
There are seven principles which will provide the basis for you to communicate effectively with difficult people. Knowing them will give you an understanding of why people are perceived as difficult and using them will enable you to deal with difficult people much more effectively. Let’s look at each right now.
Principle # 1 You were born with Genetic needs of body and mind.
Some say there is a connection between your body and mind. The truth is your body and mind are not just connected they are one unified system. Your hand is an excellent metaphor for your genetic needs. Your thumb can represent the needs of your body while your fingers are your mind’s needs
The needs of your body are:Be safe from harm to it.Air to sustain it.Nutrition and water to nourish it.
Movement to maintain it.. Rest to restore it.The needs of your mind are Freedom to make choices. Power to influence others.Love to and from others Fun of Learning.
You are driven genetically to get all these needs met regularly. Each behavior you display is your attempt to do so.
For example, when you have lunch with a friend to discuss your significant other you are getting many of your body and mind’s needs met simultaneously. You are safe with your friend; you are getting air, food and water from your surroundings; you are able to move your body and rest it as you wish and you are ensuring your reproductive future with the topic under discussion. Mentally you have the freedom to make choices, you can influence your friend, you can notice you love and are loved and you can learn important things for your future.
So just like picking up your coffee cup uses your thumb and fingers so also with your body and mind combining to ensure your survival.
Principle # 2 You create a Value System to motivate yourself.
From your experiences you unconsciously create a fantasy version of the world, where there is pleasure and no pain. This idealized view is displayed by your value system. Your value system then motivates you in all areas of life to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Metaphorically, you, like everyone else, wears an invisible pair of prescription eye glasses which determine what you consider pleasurable or painful. You use these glasses to judge the world around you and ensure your survival.
For example, if you had an experience of someone expecting you to eat broccoli and the taste was bitter (a pain) to you then you would add “not eating broccoli” to your value system and avoid the pain of it
Principle # 3 Your Value System is special.
Your perception of the world is determined by your personal experiences so your value system is a unique personal view of the world and like no other.
For example, because I experienced childhood asthma, eczema and allergies I placed high value on the health of my lungs and skin. So I am very health conscious and like to jog and use moisturizers.
Principle # 4 You have over 4600 choices in how to behave.
There are over 4600 unique behaviors which you can use to try to make the world more like the one in your value system. These behaviors can be considered positive or negative depending on the value system of who is judging. So any behavior can be either positive or negative depending on who judges it and when they judge it.
For example, contacting another person at 3 a.m. in the morning will be judged by the recipient as either positive or negative, not based on your value system but on their value system. So every behavior has the potential to be both positive and negative
Principle # 5 Every behavior has four parts.
Each behavior you use is composed of four parts with the first two parts controlling the second two parts. The first two controlling parts of every behavior are your action and your simultaneous thinking. The two controlled parts of each behaviors are the feelings and physiology you generate.
A good metaphor to understand Principle #5 is a front wheel drive automobile. (See Figure 4.2) The energy of the motor is connected directly to the front two wheels which determine the direction and pull the back two wheels in that direction. What you decide to do and think determine the feelings in your mind and the physiology in your body.
For example your hobby is an excellent demonstration of this principle. My hobby is building stone walls. The doing part is collecting, moving and placing stones; the thinking part is making a stable, balanced pattern with them. When I choose to do this I generate feelings of satisfaction which also generates exercise for my heart, lungs, muscles and other body parts.
Think of your hobby and uncover the four parts of it noticing what you decide to do and think generates what you feel and your body’s responses.
Principle # 6 There are two levels of your thinking.
Humans are the only animal which uses two levels of thinking simultaneously. First, you can think about the situation you are in from the information from your senses. Second, you can also think about yourself being in that situation from an outside perspective. This outside perspective is often called your “self talk
For example, if when I am building stone walls I say to myself, “This is good exercise for my body and mind!” then I generate positive feelings like empowerment and self satisfaction. If instead I say to myself, “This is bad for my back and I could hurt myself!” then I generate feelings of fear and dissatisfaction.Principle # 7 The second level of thinking creates your feelings.
You may not realize yet but it is your self talk which creates your feelings. This means your feelings are under your direct control because you control what you decide to think. This also means you are much more powerful and have much more self control than you thought.
For example, if you won a million dollars today how you decided to think about yourself in this situation will determine how you will feel about it. If you say to yourself things like, “I am debt free and able to travel!” you will generate positive feelings. If you say to yourself things like, “Everyone is after my money and I don’t know who my friends are anymore!” you will generate negative feelings.
These principles are very important!
These principles are important because they demonstrate how you can gain self control and help others learn it. Using these principles will enable you to deal with difficult people where ever you find them.
However, this awareness of your self-talk’s ability to determine your feelings and physiology comes with increased accountability to yourself and others.
Here are just a couple of examples.
You control how you feel!
First, since you now know you create how you feel by what you deicide to do and think, this also means you have control of how you feel all the time. And this means no one can make you feel anything without your prior permission. And this also means you always have control of how you feel if you take the responsibility for choosing the doing and thinking parts of your behavior. So you have control of how you feel in all times and in all places. You are a very powerful person.
You create most of your own diseases.
Second, eighty-five percent of people who access our medical systems do so for “psychosomatic” diseases. The other fifteen percent are caused by genetics, environment or accidents. The word psychosomatic comes from the Greek words for mind (psyche) and body (soma).
Psychosomatic diseases are now called “Life Style Diseases” because they are caused by our life style; caused by what we do with our body (behaviors) and think with our mind (value system)
The current list of psych-somatic diseases includes most heart disease, headaches, skin conditions, ulcers, allergies, arthritis, cancer, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and type II diabetes. The list grows each year.This means eighty-five percent of your disease is unconsciously being created with your “Lifestyle”… by what you do and think. This applies to everyone. You can use these two implications to empower yourself toward more health both mentally and physically.
Choice Theory’s Seven Hidden Tools
Applying these seven principles creates seven hidden tools for dealing effectively with difficult people which you can start using today. Using these tools will enable you to deal more effectively with difficult people immediately. Watch for the impact these tools have on your interactions with difficult people.
October 23, 2015
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