Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Secret to dealing with others

"Hell is other people" -Jean Paul Satre

It's simple, other people are just like you!...except when they are not. You see, people can appear complicated, unpredictable, irrational, sometimes moody, cruel, and sometimes, just plain assholes. But guess what, it's all your fault. Yeah, it's your fault you're mad and frustrated, because nobody but you can really determine how you will react to other people. You see, you can't control what others will do, but you can control how you react to what other people do.

When I said that other people are just like you, I meant that everyone is just worried about their life, their problems, their issues, their hobbies, their habits, their friends, their family....just. like. you. What does that mean? They are not noticing that thing you care about, because they are too busy caring about their own business.

(Wow, this posts is starting to sound like a Self Help, Dr. Phil kind of thing....I am sorry, that's really not my style)

Let me shift gears a bit, change the tone, and finally get to the point.

There's this trick I've been trying to do that works wonders when dealing with others. It does not create miracles, but it makes a huge difference when applied correctly.

Put yourself in the other person's shoes.

You've probably heard it before, it's cliche even. However, it works, when you think about it, it only makes sense when trying to communicate you must think of the message, the receiver, transmitter, and the context. If you don't understand why your boss is a bit flustered when he replied to your email, or why your kid is in a bad mood, or why your wife is mad because you didn't take out the trash, then, you are not paying attention. That can cost you.

But I've added a little twist to that rule, I've noticed something about the people I admire the most, they never complain about others. I notices that real leaders always bring out the best in people. So it brings me to my second rule:

Look for the best in people.

That one is easy to say, hard to do, if you are like me, it's easier to notice other people's defects than your own defects, it's much easier to know your own virtues than to see other people's.

You se, everyone is good at something, everyone has something that they care about. Looking for the good instead of the bad puts me in a better frame of mind, I get less annoyed with people, when I try to see things from their point of view, assuming the best.

Now, I know how this may sound, it may sound too optimistic, too naive to assume the best in people. But it's a better way to live, you have to know how to not get hurt by others, but if you are paying attention you'll never have a problem.

If you know me at all, you'll notice that my social skills could be better, but compared to how it used to be, I have improved a lot, I am naturally self-conscious, and I was raised to mistrust the whole world outside your own family.

Anyway, I have to cut this short, gotta go take Anthony to get a haircut...he starts school Monday.


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