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How to Deal With Difficult People Without Losing Your Mind

Don’t wrestle with pigs and don’t die on every hill.Don JohnsonDon Johnson

 

 
 

Given the political, social, and economic climate right now, tension and conflict are apt to surface more than ever.

 

People under stress are more likely to display a “bad day” version of themselves.

Emotions close to the surface are easily triggered.

When someone is stressed, angry, or irritated, they are less rational and empathetic — making the ability to resolve differences even more important.

 

What really matters in a difficult situation is how conscious and skilled you are.

My former colleague and author of the bestselling book Conscious Business, Fred Kofman, says:

 

“There are no difficult conflicts. There are only conflicts we don’t know how to resolve.”

 

Everyone has a unique story

We each have a view of the world, and it’s just that — our view. Others have their own views, which are likely different than ours.

If I am self-absorbed, I believe my view of the world is correct and everyone else is either wrong or badly misinformed. This is where many problems begin.

 

For example: If I’m a Democrat, I may believe I’m one of the good guys.

Therefore, Republicans are the bad guys, and I will likely discount anything a Republican says.

I don’t fully accept them or their point of view. Labeling something as bad because I disagree with it is prejudice.

This narrow-minded attitude has been the cause of wars, racial bias, political stalemates, religious prosecution, and the destruction of entire cultures.

 

Resolving conflict begins with accepting your point of view as just one version of the truth. There’s always another story.

 

The resolution will be found through dialogue, not arguing about whose story is right, better, or more complete. Both stories are right.

 

Accept duality

 

Lisa Earle McLeod, in her superb book on conflict resolution, The Triangle of Truth, talks about seeing the world in binary terms.

She calls it “either-or thinking.”

We categorize and judge people and things as good or bad.

When someone says or does something we disagree with, we often conclude they are wrong or manipulative.

Filtered through that lens, it’s all too easy to ignore, deny, or minimize their positive qualities.

 

While most of us admit we are far less than perfect, we often find it quite difficult to accept others’ imperfection.

If we are to handle difficult situations successfully, we must accept that people can be both flawed and fabulous.

 

People think you gain control of a conversation by talking. You don’t.

 

One of the most significant breakthroughs I’ve ever had is when I applied this principle to myself.

Not only did I discover the healing power of full self-acceptance, but I also found I was more accepting of others as they are.

If I am flawed and fabulous, can’t others be? If I can be self-absorbed and loving, can’t others be?

If I am short-tempered and forgiving, can’t others be?

 

Understanding the principle of duality allows us to be more open-minded when co-creating solutions to conflicts.

 

We let go of harsh judgments, and we open our hearts and mind to improving the challenging situations we face.

 

Check your intent

No one wants to be steamrolled, beaten up, humiliated, or taken advantage of by someone in an argument.

Nor do we want to do that to anyone else.

 

While it may feel good at the moment to prove someone wrong, it doesn’t improve the health of any relationship — business or personal.

 

If you know you are heading into a potentially difficult situation or suddenly find yourself in one, ask yourself: What is my intention?

Do I want to look good and be right, or do I want the best possible solution for everyone involved?

 

The root of many conflicts is the desire to be right and to defend your position at all costs. Life is not about being right.

 

It’s about learning, growing, and making peace with ourselves and others.

 

 

If things heat up, get curious

In an argument where no one is listening, someone has to stop interrupting, tuning out, or discounting others.

Let it be you.

People think you gain control of a conversation by talking.

You don’t.

You get it through inquiry, asking genuine questions because you are curious.

 

To resolve a conflict, you need to understand the other person’s story and why they think the way they do.

 

“I’m struggling to understand what your real concern is.”

“Please tell me what makes you say that.”

 

“I must be missing something.

Why don’t you think the project will work?”

 

See my article on verbal aikido, an effective way to diffuse a heated conversation, for more on this technique.

 

Listen not only to what is being said but how it’s being said.

Notice body language and tone of voice.

According to the research done by psychology professor Albert Mehrabian, words only convey about 7% of the meaning in any conversation.

Thirty-eight percent comes from tone of voice and 55% from nonverbal communication.

 

Learn to recognize the early warning signs of your emotions taking over.

 

If you really listen, you can pick up the story and emotions underneath the issue being argued.

When you recognize and acknowledge someone’s emotional state, you’re letting them know you’re really paying attention.

An operational or specific issue is more easily solved when someone’s emotions are acknowledged first.

 

“I can see you are really, really frustrated and upset right now.

You’ve got every right to feel that way, given the situation.

There’s nothing more I want than for us to get through this peacefully.

Help me understand what we can do to resolve this.”

 

Remember to breathe

If you can’t listen to the person you’re in conflict with, then the conflict will continue.

Being aware of your breathing will help you get centered and increase your ability to listen.

 

Breathe from your belly — deep breathing will restore oxygen to your body and your brain.

Take as many deep breaths as you can.

 

Slow the pace of the conversation down.

You’ve got to regain balance so that you can think clearly. It isn’t easy to listen when you’re flooded with emotion.

 

I’ve done this recently, and it enabled me to stop arguing and become curious about what I heard instead of rejecting it.

When I did that, the argument was soon resolved.

 

Learn to recognize the early warning signs of your emotions taking over.

If you feel your face getting red, chest or throat tightening, or your body temperature rising, your reptilian “protect me from danger” brain has awoken.

You’ve been triggered and are likely to go into a flight, fight, or freeze response.

The stress and survival hormone, cortisol, is in your bloodstream.

Deep breathing will help you come back from the edge.

 

Speak honestly, respectfully, and accurately

Don’t exaggerate or use grandiose statements: “You always do that” or “You never do anything I ask.” They are useless and inflammatory.

 

Be specific and factual.

Say what is true for you and state it that way. “I don’t agree with that approach because…”

Or, “My concern about the project is…”

Be accurate in your words.

 

Another part of speaking honestly is asking for what you want.

Many people struggle with making requests — instead, we drop hints, expect others to magically figure out what we want, or make demands or ultimatums.

None of those work well.

If we want to improve our relationships, resolve conflicts, and stop blaming others, we have to learn to ask for what we want, politely.

 

“I suggest that before you decide to spend that kind of money, please speak to me first.

Are you okay with that?”

“I really need some quiet time now.”

“I propose that we split the cost on this one.”

 

 

 

Be the first to apologize

If you have screwed up, admit it, and say it with sincerity.

There’s nothing worse than a half-hearted, mock attempt at apologizing: “Yeah, sorry about that. I won’t do it again.”

 

If you apologize from your heart, you’re not only honest with yourself, but you are also letting the other person know you recognize your contribution to the situation.

I have seen real apologies turn the tables entirely around in heated discussions.

 

Know when to disengage

If an argument is getting out of hand and emotions are running high on both sides, you have to make the call: continue or not.

The reptilian brain is in charge, and it’s all about survival — defend and attack.

All head and no heart.

 

What’s the point?

The only thing to do is to reduce the temperature.

 

Someone has to stop pouring fuel on the fire.

 

Call a time out.

Take a break.

Reschedule when everyone is more clearheaded.

Find a way to shift the energy; it can help.

 

If you are sitting down, stand up.

If you are standing, sit down.

Avoid one person sitting and the other standing — be at the same physical level.

 

And remember, choose your battles carefully. Not every hill is worth dying on.

 

Life is a journey to be more conscious, loving, and compassionate.

Along the way, we face challenges, and we grow as a result — learning to make better choices.

 

When resolving any difficult situation, we can choose to do it thoughtfully with skill and kindness, or we can fight it out.

 

I choose to do it thoughtfully, with skill and kindness.

What do you choose?

 

 

 

Ergonomic Tips for a Home Office

 

Are you working at home? Find out how to set up a workspace to prevent stiffness, protect your muscles and joints, and avoid eyestrain.

 

It's hard to get your lighting right for home office ergonomics.

 

 

Why I Hired a Life Coach During the Pandemic

Seeking professional guidance during pandemic unemployment has been a lifelineMargot SeetoMargot Seeto

 

Woman in Green and White Stripe Shirt Covering Her Face With White Mask

 

When I met an old friend, Freesia, for coffee last year, we had a lot to catch up on — it had been over 10 years since we’d seen each other.

After years in the workforce and earning her MBA, she told me that she was now training to be a life coach. And she needed clients.

 

Intrigued, I perked up at this news. It just so happened I was in a life stage that could desperately use a life coach. I longed to set and achieve bigger, long-term goals, but my morale felt deflated after rejected job applications and pitches.

 

I’d spent my career as a journalist and bartender, living in and traveling to dozens of countries along the way. But when my international work visas expired a few years ago, I found myself floundering, flitting in and out of service industry jobs to fund more travels abroad.

 

I hadn’t been intentionally running away from responsibilities, but inadvertently, I was. I was actively avoiding adulting and planning my life for a few months at a time.

 

All of these thoughts flashed through my head, and probably out of my mouth.

 

In response, Freesia offered me pro bono coaching while she was training to be a life coach.

To begin, she encouraged me to start daily meditations and a gratitude journal. I tried not to roll my eyes — this was difficult for me; I’ll admit I saw those practices solely for fragile women whose bible was Eat, Pray, Love. Still, I went along with it, taking months to solidify the habits and understand the benefits of mindfulness and gratitude.

 

Just as Freesia finished her training and began charging me for official coaching sessions in March, Covid-19 hit, and I lost my job as a caterer in the Bay Area. Luckily, because of my unemployment, Freesia charges me on a sliding scale.

It’s not so expensive that I have to choose between coaching and groceries, but it’s enough to make me take our sessions seriously.

Even though I’m one of many left unemployed due to the pandemic, I fully appreciate the fact that I have the time and funds to hire a professional to guide me through this weird time when many others don’t.


Freesia initially saw a six-month plan for me to get a new job, but when the pandemic caused many companies to go on hiring freezes or move out of state, our approach changed.

Maybe the changes I longed for weren’t going to be as easy or as fast as I had wanted. But it also felt a bit like a blessing in disguise.

I had been wanting to change jobs and return to writing — the pandemic forced me to take action on my dreams when I suddenly no longer had a day job to use as an excuse.

 

Soon after I was laid off, I got the first official byline I’d had in years in The Bold Italic. It was the boost I needed to feel like a writer again. Since then, some of my work has been in a national publication and curated by Medium editors. One essay inspired a filmmaker friend to make a short documentary, and now we’re working on a longer-term project based on it.

I couldn’t have predicted any of these outcomes. I’m still looking for full-time work and have bigger writing goals, but reminding myself of what I have accomplished is one way to keep the feeling of failure at bay.

 

Many are using the pandemic for self-reflection, reprioritizing, and looking inward. That often comes in the form of a professional therapist, which is often the right call.

Personally, I’ve found that I enjoy the life coach approach for where I am in my life.

 

While both coaching and therapy address personal issues, coaching is more goal-oriented, whereas therapy focuses more on how the past manifests itself today.

 

Freesia does not have a therapy background, but rather 150 hours of life coach training with Co-Active Training Institute and 100 hours of practice.

 

She said some clients use both coaching and therapy, and she might suggest seeking therapy if a past trauma hasn’t yet been processed.

 

So far, coaching has worked well for me.

Freesia combines traditional coaching techniques with what she calls “woo woo stuff,” such as meditation and acquiring plants and totems.

 

When I feel a knot in my chest during a session, she’ll feel one in hers, too. Then she’ll ask me about that knot.

If I start crying (I’ll admit to it), she’ll cry, too. It’s fascinating that she can feel what I’m feeling over Zoom.

 

A coaching session with Freesia will start with what I’ve accomplished or felt in the time since our last session. She’ll then either ask what I want to work on or make a suggestion.

 

If I tell her I’m feeling like a writing impostor and my portfolio isn’t growing fast enough, for example, she’ll guide me through visualizations that are literal or metaphorical showing me achieving my goals.

 

I’ll surprise myself by what comes out of me.

 

Once I saw myself finding a circle of light in a forest, where a tiny plant was growing.

The plant sprouted a new leaf in each place I touched it.

This plant ended up representing me as a writer. Just because the plant was small did not mean it wasn’t a plant — similarly, not having a bestselling book does not negate my status as a writer.

Each piece I write is a new leaf on the plant.

 

I return to this visualization whenever I question myself to recover from feelings of inadequacy. Freesia suggested I get an actual plant to represent this idea.

 

As we’ve built our relationship, Freesia has made me feel comfortable bringing up personal issues, including how I can feel a need to compartmentalize my life — sharing an apartment with my boyfriend is totally separate from caretaking for my hoarder mother. I felt split, secretive, and guilty that I was never doing enough.

 

I felt selfish in pursuing writing when my parents needed help. Freesia’s exercises help me see that the idea of mental and emotional integration was important to me in feeling at peace.

 

This peace enables me to serve both myself and my family better.

 

The epiphanies that used to come to me once a year now come on a regular basis, returning to a place of inspiration more easily and often.

 

If I feel anxious or blocked, I know I can meditate to get to that place. I know I’ve reached a good decision, big or small if I can suddenly breathe clearly and deeply.

 

Journaling after a good meditation has helped me make many decisions.

 

A lot of our worlds have been turned upside down during the pandemic and many of us are uncertain about what to do next. I’m not suggesting a life coach is your answer — it could be traditional therapy, more time for self-care, or something else.

If you’re lucky enough to have the time and means to seek professional help, it can be incredibly helpful to have someone in your corner when our collective ennui feels like too much.

 

Click on my link below for my Life Coach presentation.

Michael

 

 

 

 

Leaving the Earth a Better Place

by Madisyn Taylor

It is a great act of love to leave the earth a better place when we leave, than which we found her.

We inherit this great planet from our parents and from the generations that came before. Then, in concert with the surrounding culture, our elders teach us how to care for the land and the sea, ourselves and each other. They model ways of being in relationship with every other expression of life on earth. But whether they act with care or carelessness, compassion or cruelty, generosity or greed, we have the ability to choose our own individual way of relating with the planet and her inhabitants. From our first breath here to our very last, we will find infinite opportunities to influence our environment for the better. We can decide now to act with intention in order to leave this amazing planet brighter and more beautiful than when we arrived.

If we enjoy environmental activism, we might feel moved to clean up beaches or to plant trees. But, we need not feel limited in our ability to contribute positively. There are many ways to leave a legacy of love. We might begin by radiating affirmative thoughts and feelings about how magnificent the earth truly is. We might create and tend a special garden, one that provides an abundance of food and herbs for ourselves and our loved ones. Or we might create a garden filled with sweet smelling flowers to uplift our hearts. We might even honor the earth simply by trying to be the best person we can be while we are here. Such good will can have a domino effect, inspiring others to contribute in their own way as well.

We spend our lifetimes being nourished and enlivened by the rain, sun, soil and wind. Our experience is blessed by other living beings, from plants to insects to birds and humans. We receive so much; giving back just naturally feels good. When we live our lives with intention of leaving this temporary home a better place for generations to come, we are perhaps leaving behind the best gift of all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Oprah Show FIX on GlobalCnet.

 

A real treat...the best of Oprah.
 
 
The Christmas That Gave Oprah Hope When She Needed It the Most
 
 

                                                                   

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52 Morning Meditations for a Peaceful, Productive Year

52 Good Morning Mantras (That Will Change Your Life)

“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

 

Here are 52 morning mantras – one for each week of the year (note: you can start your year of morning mantras anytime you want).  I choose one of these mantras every Monday morning and sit quietly for two minutes, repeating it silently in my mind as if I were meditating.  I also write it on a post-it note and stick it next to my computer monitor for the duration of the week.  This weekly ritual has helped reduce unnecessary stress in my life by reminding me to keep things simple, peaceful and in perspective.

 

  1. The secret to being grateful is no secret.  You choose to be grateful.  Then you do it again and again.  Every day.  When you forget, begin again.
  2. If you worry too much about what might be, and wonder too long about what might have been, you will ignore and completely miss what is.
  3. You don’t know what the future will bring.  So your best strategy for living is to make the best and most positive use of the present.
  4. Two things, more than anything else, define you daily: Your patience when you are struggling, and your attitude when you are not.          Read More on the web page.

 

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LOW COST SOLUTION EBOOKS AND PROGRAMS
 

→ Enjoying these psych studies? Support PsyBlog for just $4 per month (includes ad-free experience and more articles).
→ Explore PsyBlog's ebooks, all written by Dr Jeremy Dean:

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Pay it Forward - Are you ready to do the world a favour?

DOING GOOD is one of the best ways to feel good and be happy. People who care more about others are happier than those who care less about others. When people do good, their brain becomes active in the same reward center where they experience other rewards.
Right now, there is a day ahead of you.  A day where you can make a significant difference in someone’s life.  You are blessed.  You are a child of God.  You are loved
 
Pay It Forward TODAY!  Watch this Video...........
Someone you know is hurting.  Someone you know needs support, and there are many other people out there who are lost and alone.  You can change that.  You have the power of healing kindness.  You just watch the awesomely inspirational clip of how one boy “changed the world” with one simple act.
Today is your day to Pay It Forward and Watch It Multiply!
 
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What Attracts Mosquitos and How to Repel Them

 

By Dr. Mercola

Summertime calls most of us to spend time outdoors, but this means we must share our space with mosquitoes. Scientists say that about one in five people are especially appetizing targets for the little bloodsuckers... are you one of them?

Read more and watch a great Video................

 

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Transcending the Flesh

I will not use the shortcomings in this world as an excuse for the shortcomings in me. My path is not to imitate what is wrong, but to lead in what is right. Each positive example I set by actually embodying or being what I believe in improves this world.

I am willing to lead.

                                                               -Oprah Winfrey (ITR Daily Meditation)

 

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Moment of Love

 

 

To help spread this Moment of Love, click here. And don't miss our collection of inspiring news articles, videos, inspirational resources, and our heart and mind expanding free online courses providing rich inspiration and education. Thanks for taking this moment to invite heartfelt love into our lives and into our world.

 

 

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21 Precepts to Live Your Life

 

Editor’s note: These 21 precepts were just as Miyamoto was giving away all his possessions in preparation for death and I think many of them still apply to our modern society and lifestyles and hence I’m sharing them there.

 

Accept who you are, know your strengths and weaknesses, don’t over qualify yourself to the world but definitely don’t under estimate your potential. The world and everything in it is truly amazing, see it, explore, make the most of everything; take nothing for granted.

 

Today:  Did I Live?

             Did I Love?

             Did I Matter?

 

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