Dealing With People We Don’t Like

President Eisenhower said it best when he said, “Let’s never waste a minute thinking about people we don’t like”.

This may be the best advice that is hardly ever taken.

Social media is littered with comments about people who irk each other.

Behind most people we don’t like is their ability to push our buttons.  

Here is some great advice to paste on your refrigerator:

Know yourself:  “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people” – Carl Jung

Keep your eyes wide open:  “Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. They’re only powerful when you got your back turned” – Eminem

Know human nature:  “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, creatures motivated by pride and vanity” – Dale Carnegie

Tread carefully:  “I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to” – Unknown

Draw the line:  “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”  – Dave Ramsey

And my favorite:

“Don’t push my buttons without reading the manual.”Inspector Gadget

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The Go-To Formula To Stop Worrying

Doctors say we pay a great price for worrying.

It leads to anxiety that can make people become physically ill and mentally stressed.

Time to stop worry in its tracks.

Here’s my go-to formula:

  1. Do, don’t stew.
  2. Try the “magic formula” of Willis Carrier:  “Ask yourself what is the worst that can possibly happen if I can’t solve my problem”.  Prepare yourself to accept the worst – if necessary.  Then calmly try to improve upon the worst, which you have already mentally agreed to accept.  This formula is foolproof.  We just need to use it.
  3. Never forget that 99% of that which we worry about will never, ever happen.

There are many things that can help reduce fear and worry, but I find these three gems a way to jumpstart the process when worry begins to get out of control.

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension.  And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it” — George Burns

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You Can Do Anything You Want To Do

I met a charming lady on a flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix recently who shared with me the tribulations of living with a learning disability. 

She was on her way to Arizona to finish work on her doctorate in mental health.

What struck me was that she had to turn her disabilities into accomplishments when she could have easily succumbed to them.

And whom did she credit for this gift of inspiration?

Her father who said “Don’t listen to others, you can overcome anything”.

Dad was the driving force in this woman’s life and while he will not be here to see his daughter fulfill her dream (he passed away five months ago), she attains her goal because he was there for her with the right words of encouragement.

When was the last time we gave such unconditional assurances to those around us so they can believe in themselves and their ability to overcome adversity and achieve success?

Make a short list of people who can be helped by actively believing in them.

Then begin reciting the mantra:  “You can overcome anything”.

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Managing Conflict in the Workplace

We spend more time at work than we spend at home or enjoying leisure activities and the people we work with are in a sense our extended family.

Often a dysfunctional family where conflict erupts to adversely affect careers and happiness. 

Many times we bring workplace conflict home to our loved ones as an unintended consequence.

It’s time we put conflict at work in its proper place.

  1. Search for the hidden agenda that is stimulating the conflict.  Some people live to control, others use work to validate that no idea is good unless it is their idea and often, personal dysfunction (bullying, inappropriate behavior and insulting associates) becomes an issue.
  2. Most employers want to distance themselves from conflict at work other than a seminar or two.  They know it is there but do not deal with it.
  3. Acquire skills to identify situations that trigger workplace conflict and gain the skills to respond rather than react.  Spend some time with the works of Dale Carnegie for an arsenal of tools that will come in handy for these situations.
  4. Avoid arguing because as the master himself, Dale Carnegie said, the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  5. Encourage collaborative problem solving and multiple ways of resolving differences.

I once heard a psychologist who wrote a book about careers interviewed on a Philadelphia talk station.  I’ve forgotten her name but I’ll never forget her advice.

Never, ever quit a job you love because of workplace conflict or personal animosity.

Wait for them to quit using strategies like these to deal with the problem along the way. 

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One Step To A Brighter Future

For all the talk we hear of about the benefits of living in the present, we sure endure a lot of focus on the future.

How to be better when we graduate. 

To get the promotion after the next review. 

When we meet the right person for us. 

When our ship finally comes in.

Ironically, the best way to guarantee a brighter future is to not think about the future.

What about today?

What are you learning, not what are you going to do when you graduate.

How to make today your most productive day instead of waiting for an employee review to seek a promotion.

Forget meeting the right person, be the right person.

I confess I live too much in the future and it is not a good place to be.  So change must begin today.

There are no guarantees in the future.  No way to will what we want so badly without first passing through this day. 

Now I see the future as kind of a score at the end of an inning – no baseball player could say I want to win this game 5 to nothing without first playing the game half-inning by half-inning.

The same is true of life and of the fastest way to a brighter future.

“If you desire a glorious future, transform the present” – Patanjali

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