Throughout my life, but especially since my divorce, in my dealings with people, I have tried to model the following three things…
- Listening without thinking of other things or a response to what is being said
- Unconditionally accepting without judging or allowing my preconceived notions to darken the light
- Loving or liking the person just as they are despite my initial feelings towards them
Easy? Well, not always. Despite my best efforts there are those whom I just can’t seem to put in a 100% wholehearted effort. In particular are the three women in my department. My attitude towards them, in the last month or so has tended to be very withdrawn revealing very vague answers or changing the subject when I am approached. Their behavior towards me has caused me to just give up.
Yesterday, I walked by, as two of them were leaning against a wall, waiting for a conference room. As one of them looked my way, I said, “Hi.”She responded back in same, while the other continued playing with her phone. A few minutes later, I passed them again, still leaning against the wall. I responded, ‘You guys haven’t moved yet? Looks like you are holding up the wall!! Don’t move, cause I wouldn’t want the wall to come tumbling down!’ Both just stared at me like I had gone crazy!! Which I had, because it had come to the point where my sarcastic, bitchy side overrode my nice side, acting just like they have acted towards me. Interestingly, after I returned to my desk, I actually FELT BAD for saying what I did. Why? Because it was totally out of character for me.
So, since I have done much soul digg’in and rearranging of the baggage I carry, I decided to repack my baggage of dislike by Googling ways on how to deal with those people I don’t like. I know this a common problem for all of us, which is why I am sharing the ideas I found.. I know I really need to overcome this problem as I will be working with the ladies in my department for a long time or at least as long as we are all employed there. If you have any additional ideas, please let me know. I know I don’t have to like everyone, but I also know my attitude needs to rehabbed so I can get to a more pleasant tolerable place when dealing with these women. As for now, here are ten good ways to start…
- Ask yourself why you don’t like the particular person? Identify the traits that rub you the wrong way. Then ask yourself if you can learn to deal with these traits by accepting them without allowing them to affect you or your day. Is it possible these traits can be ignored? Or is it possible, the traits you are identifying are traits within yourself you don’t like?
- When dealing with the person, put your emotions on the back burner and let your logic and reasoning help you understand why the person is behaving the way they are. It is highly impossible to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. It could be they are behaving in the manner they are to ‘hide’ feelings of low self esteem or something intensely personal or maybe they have some feelings of jealously towards you. It is not always about you, it could just be them.
- Try not to take things personally. (This is one area I need to work on BIG TIME!) Most people aren’t going out of their way to intentionally hurt others. A good way to monitor another’s behavior towards you is to observe them interacting with others. If they act the same way towards others as they are acting towards you, then their behavior is not something to take to heart. If they are acting differently towards others as they are acting towards you, revert back to #2.
- Trust your gut. Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” In my experience, I have found 95% of the time, my first impressions are correct. But, that doesn’t mean I get a free pass to mistreat someone. I just know it is best for me to be professional and cordial in the times interaction with them is required. Otherwise, I do my best to stay clear of them.
- If at all possible, keep your distance. Staying away from someone you don’t like may give you the opportunity to analyze your feelings towards them more objectively. In this way, when you do have encounters with them, as stated in #2, your emotions will not get the better of you.
- Try to think of at least one or two positive things about the person. Even if those positive things are minor, like the clothes the person wears are really fashionable or their smile is really nice. Then compliment them. Yes, I know that is hard. But do it anyway. Maybe all they need is a dose of positivity to reconcile whatever is going on within themselves.
- Always treat them with respect and civility. In doing this, you will not fall to their level. Plus, they may reciprocate, much to your surprise.
- Speak up! If the person, you don’t like mistreats you, stand up for yourself by talking with them. However, if their behavior is causing you to become angry, it is best to approach them at different time when you can voice your concerns in a calm, productive manner. Make sure your concerns are not attacks towards the other person and instead of using ‘you’ start each sentence with ‘I.’
- Live and let live. They are always people you aren’t going to like and vice versa. Just do your best to be a good example of respectfulness, kindness and tolerance. Remember, you don’t have to live with them. Ultimately, you have to live with yourself, your behavior and your actions.
- And finally, pray for them. I think being human sometimes hinders our ability to look beyond the faults of others forcing us to forget our own inefficacies. There is not a single one of us who is perfect. That is what makes the world a playground of interest. Also, putting them in God’s hands will allow Him to work His magic. They may change. They may not. But you have given up control and given them to God to handle.
Just writing these ideas as helped my attitude already!! I can’t imagine how they will help on Monday!! I know it can continue to be a challenge. Or it can grow into something positive. Either way it is up to me. Because in the end, I can’t change others, I can only change myself.
Until next time,