As we head into the Xmas season (as I am writing this), you are bound to bump up against people that “rub you up the wrong way”.
Would I be correct in saying?
Chances are; the more people you interact with, the higher likelihood you have of bumping into those special people in life who challenge you in every interaction.
There are some people that just trigger you.
With Xmas festivities coming, there is a high likelihood you will bump into them.
Or need to spend several days in their presence!!
They might even be people who you truly love…
…but they frustrate the living beegeezus out of you!!
Want to know a secret?
9 times out of 10, the reason they trigger you is due to what I am about to share…
So get ready to get the antidote to this triggering event.
Let’s talk about the reality thing
Remember Byron Katie’s little ditty?
“When I argue with reality, I lose, but only 100% of the time.”
This is what I have observed within myself, and even more clearly by observing my clients.
When it comes to people that trigger us, most of the time it is because…
WE EXPECT THEM TO THINK, FEEL AND ACT THE WAY WE WOULD.
We expect them to have similar values.
We expect them to have similar beliefs.
Similar ways of doing things.
Similar (what we might call ‘appropriate’) ways of communicating and interacting.
Similar ways of behaving.
And often this process – our measuring them against us – is not done maliciously, but unconsciously.
We forget (or ignore) who they are, and expect them to show up “OUT OF CHARACTER” and then get annoyed or triggered when they act in accordance with their character.
We also may have a long history of observing them playing a ROLE or CHARACTER in a specific way, but still expect them to show up differently than what they have habitually conditioned themselves to be.
The GREATER the gap between who someone is (their personality) and what you WANT THEM TO BE the greater the tension and frustration for you.
Do not be surprised or reactive, when someone shows up in character(based on past experiences and history).
(‘Hoping’ they will show up differently, or act differently, or interact differently, or communicate differently, is likely to end in tears).
This creates a significant reduction in how much someone can ‘bother you’ (and drain you of energy).
It closes the gap between reality, and your expectations (because your expectations are now based on reality and not ‘hope’).
Plus it allows you to remain in a calmer emotional state, and therefore have greater access to your CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING mental faculties.
Here’s the Strategy laid out:
- Don’t expect someone to behave in a way that is not in alignment with their commonly expressed character.
- Accept that they are acting in accordance with their character and your history with them.
- Take a breath (you are 3/4 of the way there).
- Notice how you are much less reactive; have lost little or no energy, and can therefore think more clearly.
- With a calm and curious mind, and tapping into creative energy; decide how best you can get the results you want, based on their personality (this might take time, but get creative).
- Regardless of whether you are able to influence the person to your own desires or not, by closing the gap on the reality and your now realisticexpectations, people who have previously annoyed the heck out of you, will have less influence and effect on you.
When you have a stable mind, attuned to reality, and grounded in the present moment, you are a SO MUCH more powerful and capable to handle all of life’s inter-relational challenges.
That’s the ticket!
Side note (and a wee plug):
Know that most people don’t do the inner work, or self-reflect, so they are generally unaware of the true impact they have on other people, or the idea it is possible to change (even after decades of bad habits).
But as you start to become more aware of why we do what we do, based on your understanding of the influence of beliefs, values, emotional mastery and learned behaviour, you actually become more aware and accepting of people’s behaviour.
And less likely to take someone else’s behaviour personally.
This understanding of “why we do what we do” is the essence of my book – The Successful Mind. It is about 100-pages, or 2hrs 18min (audiobook) and you can listen to it for free on my Life Masterclass Podcast. It is very insightful in helping understanding ourselves and others better.
The bigger the gap between the reality of who some is (personality or character) and who you think they SHOULD be, the greater suffering you will experience.
Don’t be surprised when someone acts in character.
See their behaviour as “normal” and “RESPOND” in a way that influences the result you most desire.
My parting words
People can be a challenge.
Especially around family gatherings.
The better we understand why we do what we do, the better we understand why others do what they do.
And then we get to play with reality, which is so much less emotive and reactive.
Plus reality is very responsive to our creative, heart-centred influence. 🙂
Stay curious and creative this Xmas.
Have a wonderful day and a beautiful Christmas experience.