In dealing with difficult people and also yourself as a difficult person, your own mind has always been a powerful combination. The mental component in your difficult people experiences can add to your feelings of stress, pressure, anxiety, burden and more.
THE POWER OF THOUGHT IN DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
So effective is the power of your mind that it shapes your ideas, attitude, psyche, reasoning, understanding and beliefs about yourself and other people. Therefore, in dealing with any difficult people in your life and developing effective stress management strategies you also need to understand and work on your own mind.
In this dealing with difficult people blog post we will explore one aspect of your thinking that is guaranteed to increase your stress and worry. On the other hand, working through this type of thinking can help you reduce and manage your stress and responses to difficult situations.
THE ALL OR NOTHING PERSONAL MIND TALK
Your mind talk or self-talk is what you tell yourself in your own head about a situation you are experiencing. One of the negative forms of self-talk is that called ‘all or nothing thinking’. When you use all or nothing thinking, you consider everything in black and white terms and there is no in-between positions in your mind.
VERY STRESSFUL THINKING ON DIFFICULT SITUATIONS
For example, with this all or nothing thinking, often when you make a mistake it becomes all encompassing and most often much bigger than it really is. When you deal with difficult people or you are a difficult person yourself, this type of thinking does not help you. Can you relate to any of the three scenario examples of all or nothing thinking below?
SCENARIO ONE IS THE WORST WIFE IN THE WORLD
In this scenario, it is your fifth wedding anniversary. You get upset and yell at your husband because he has forgotten your wedding anniversary. You then feel guilty and decide that you are the worst wife in the world.
SCENARIO TWO IS THE TERRIBLE PARENT
Your teenage son and daughter have been arguing for awhile about who will wash the dog. Having had enough you tell both teenagers they are lazy, inconsiderate and don’t deserve to be living under your roof. Afterwards you feel terrible as these were the same sort of words your own mother would say to you. You promised yourself that you would never use these words with your own children. You now decide that you are a terrible parent and have failed miserably in your parental role.
SCENARIO THREE IS THE BAD MANAGER
As the manager in your workplace you are constantly being interrupted by employees asking for advice on what to do. You find it difficult to concentrate and to actually get any of your own work done. At the end of another interruption filled day, one final employee comes in with a question. You snap and within earshot of all other employees, tell them to get out and to never come back and bother you again. You later regret your outburst and decide that you are a bad manager and none of your employees will ever like or respect you again.
WHEN YOU ARE A DIFFICULT PERSON
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? All are examples of all or nothing thinking. Now this all or nothing thinking just puts you under more stress and pressure. Sometimes you make a mistake, sometimes you have a bad day and sometimes you lose your temper. But this one action does not make you the worst wife in the world, a terrible parent or a bad manager. What it does make you is HUMAN.
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE CALLED YOU
So if your self-talk is all or nothing thinking, then you are interpreting your actions and your world in a very stressful way. In order to change this stressful negative self-talk, start with these steps:
1. Understand that you are human
2. Understand that we all make mistakes
3. Forgive yourself if this is not your constant behavior pattern
4. Do not focus on the actions that have gone
5. Focus on how you will alter and change your behavior next time
6. Concentrate on responding differently in the next difficult situation
7. Decide today to let go now of that stressful all or nothing thinking.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE USING STRESSED OUT THINKING
Life is far too short to spend your time and your energy in negative self-talk and all or nothing thinking. So use the steps above and let it go now.
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