There are all sorts of people.
Millions of them.
And all different.
Some folks are real perfectionists who like keeping everything in check and everybody on their toes.
Others are just angry and make people around defensive while wondering why the hell is everybody so sensitive.
Some people are quite confident, good willed and often very good at resolving dramas as they bring to the table respect and understanding.
Truth is, certain folks are damn good at human relations while others, very naively, tend to make a mess out of them.
How do they differentiate?
The former understand how the human mind works and hold much more compassion for their fellow human beings.
The latter don’t really know how their state of mind effects relationships and how criticism and pressure are no one’s best friends.
Truth is, no one likes being chastised for their behaviour.
Especially the habitual behaviour that usually lands us into trouble.
When we screw up (in my case, still quite often!) the last thing we want is to be humiliated and punished, is that right?
But if we are approached with understanding and good will, we’ll feel more inclined to drop the self sabotaging habits and start making sensible decisions in life.
When we understand the role our mental state plays in relationships, dealing with others becomes easier and more enjoyable.
It won’t guarantee roses at all times, but we’ll be able to handle people with more grace and respect.
How can we bring out the best in people?
Accordingly to Dr George Pransky we’d all normally fall within two “interaction cycles” accordingly to our state of mind:
- THE CHIP ON THE SHOULDER CYCLE: During this time, we feel irritated and in a negative frame of mind. Any interaction will be likely unproductive as we’ll be annoyed, impatient and perhaps angry. People will bring up their defenses as they won’t trust us enough to be open when we are in a state of ill will. There will be quite a bit of emotional reaction and defensiveness in the air at this time. Of course when we are so irritated others will appear to be difficult because we will be quite rigid and inflexible in our judgement.
- THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT CYCLE: Here we will experience good will and respect because our egos will be at rest. We’ll be keen to listen to others, flexible in our judgement and cooperative. This way, others will lower their guard and be more likely to let us in.
We all go through both cycles.
What makes a difference though is our ability to spend more time in the “benefit of the doubt cycle“.
As we raise our level of goodwill, people will be more cooperative and respond better to us.
If your partner, kids or friends seem resistant it may well be you have lost you warm feelings towards them. People are like magnets after all, attracting or repelling one another all the time through their ego or altruism.
Think about a time you’ve tried to deal with them while feeling insecure, agitated or angry.
Very likely they reacted to your words and deeds.
So you both started a “reaction spiral”, dealing with each other out of emotion rather than wisdom.
At times like that, what we need is a “change of heart”.
No matter how angry or distant we feel from someone if we let our mind quieten down we soon start experiencing inner silence. This is when anyone, despite the circumstances, can really see life anew.
In a moment of clarity, suddenly our old thinking drops away and we can look at issues in a more positive and productive way.
When we allow ourselves to have a change of heart, no matter how small it is, we’ll create opportunities to improve our relations.
All we need is a sweet moment of quiet.
Wrapping it up:
- whenever you are dealing with a sensitive matter, do check what state of mind you are in
- if you are in a “chip on your shoulder” moment, just get your heart in the right place before dealing with others
- if you are feeling despondent, remember that we all deserve the “benefit of the doubt” and most of all, remember all the mistakes you’ve been collecting along the way
- whenever others seem defensive, just stop the conversation and go back to them another time with more gentleness and goodwill. No matter how long it’ll take, they will likely respond in kind eventually.
Would you like to learn how your thinking can be both very compelling and deceiving?
My coaching program Evoking Grace will offer you inspiring and effective ways to deal with everyday challenges while keeping your cool.
Blog originally published here.