Posts Tagged ‘conflictmanagement’

HOW TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM PUSHING YOUR BUTTONS

We’ve all blamed others for how we feel at times. “You really make me angry!” “You hurt my feelings!””You totally embarrassed me!” Most people don’t realize that by allowing others to push our buttons and determine how we feel, we actually give away our personal power. Others decide for us how we will feel at any given moment. When I view myself as one without power (the ability to determine my own state of being) I see myself as a victim – one who is incapable of making choices for themselves. I assign that responsibility to another giving the power to determine my level of happiness, joy, love, esteem, despair, misery, rage and so forth. For me, that is something I am not at all comfortable with. I am a fully functioning adult and am capable of choosing for myself just how happy or miserable I want to be.

Anger progresses in what I refer to as the Three A’s of Anger: Annoyed (the mildest form), Anger (more intense), and Aggression (out-of-control hostility and/or violence). Certainly, the mildest form is the easiest to rectify and correct. However, at the onset, many people do not address it and allow their feelings to escalate to the more severe stages. Letting others to bring us to the point where we are deeply upset or out of control is dangerous. Emotions dictate our actions and those who are enraged most typically make really poor choices, the kind that can deeply impact themselves and those around them. Therefore, it is critical that one be acutely aware of what is going on around them at all times, particularly what others are saying and/or doing, so as to monitor and choose their own feelings rather than permit others to dictate them.

Even though people can behave in an annoying, aggravating, obnoxious, or disrespectful manner, we still have the ability to prevent any and all of them from pushing our buttons and getting us angry. We can accomplish this by considering the following factors:

First: It is critical to understand that all feelings are the direct result of what we think. All emotions, including anger, come from thoughts. Throughout the day, we have hundreds or possibly thousands of experiences. In each event, we form a corresponding thought. I look outside my window and think, “My yard needs a lot of work. I hate doing yard work/I’m really looking forward to working outside today. ” The phone rings and I say to myself, “That’s my son calling from college. I can’t wait to hear his voice/I wonder what he wants now, he’s always asking for something.” My internal dialogue, the voice in my head, AKA my thoughts, generate a particular feeling. I can feel depressed over the condition of my yard or angry that my husband hasn’t taken care of it. Or I can look forward to making it look presentable again. I may be ecstatic over the thought of hearing my child’s voice or dread it knowing he only calls asking for money. Either way, I decide how I want to feel. A simple change of thought (internal voice) changes the emotion I experience. Positive thoughts generate positive emotions. Negative begets negative.* The truth about what is occurring is irrelevant. It is only my perception that matters, how I choose to view it. Knowing this simple principle allows me to be the master of my life – I alone dictate what I think and therefore how I’ll feel. My anger, or happiness, is within my choosing.

Be aware, too, of the labels we place on others for they are judgments and judgments are thoughts. I can label a cranky coworker as difficult and uncooperative (leaving me disgusted and irate) or see them as troubled or unhappy (causing feelings of compassion and understanding to surface). Their behavior can be problematic for me or not, based entirely on what thoughts I form about them.

Secondly: Remain emotionally detached. Many people take personal offense to what others are saying or doing. Few realize that one’s behavior (their words or actions) are a reflection of them not you. Behavior is an external expression of what one is dealing with internally. Someone who finds fault with everything about you may be communicating their insecurities or unhappiness which are totally unrelated to you. For example, someone who is disrespectful reveals their judgmentalism, declaring that you are not worthy of reverence by their standards. An angry individual is conveying their hurt, fear or frustration disguised as outrage. They may be unaware of what they are truly feeling and anger is their default emotion with you as their direct target. (This is not acceptable and one can certainly impose boundaries in a situation such as this.)

While first learning how to remain emotionally detached, I recommend envisioning a large clear glass partition between you and the other party. Whatever offenses the other is spewing cannot penetrate the glass and impact you. As with water, their behaviors remain on their side leaving you protected from its effects. Or you can view the entire experience as them being actors on a stage: you are simply an audience to their performance and therefore are not directly impacted by what is transpiring.

One can also adopt the approach of emergency responders in the face of tragedy: they do not react emotionally. They view the situation objectively while keeping their feelings in check so as to best assist those in need. One need not assign a feeling to every event that is occurring. Some things can simply be what they are. Rain is just rain. It doesn’t have to evoke a negative feeling. One can easily adjust how they are going to plan their day under their “wetter” circumstances.

As I mentioned earlier, behavior is an external expression of what one is dealing with internally. This also applies to those feelings we deem positive: one who is cheerful may be expressing their gratitude or joy for the many blessings in their life at that time. Keep in mind that each of us must own our unique actions and feelings. They belong solely to us.

Thirdly: It is critically important that in order to avoid taking personal offense one needs to fully know and appreciate themselves. Therefore, if your feelings are easily hurt, if you find yourself blaming others for how you feel, take some time and work on building a stronger sense of self. Know your inherent goodness. Recognize your attributes and strengths that God has blessed you with and develop them to their fullest capacity. Conversely, be willing to identify your weaknesses and flaws. Take full ownership for them rather than hold others accountable. Refrain from blame. Put forth a sincere effort to correct any faulty thinking patters, judgments of others, faults and flaws that you may be ashamed of or that are interfering with the quality of your life. Those attitudes and actions that do not authentically represent who you really are need to be rectified. Openly admit to your shortcomings rather than try to hide or deny them. Realize that while we are all intrinsically perfect creations of a perfect Supreme Being, we are also comprised of a human component that struggles with personal issues and imperfections. Only through our acknowledgement and willingness to grow can be become the confident, self-loving people God created us to be. There is no shame in not liking the way we behave but we can still love our inner beauty as well.

Being able to disagree with others, listen to criticism or negative comments about ourselves is only possible when one truly knows and loves themselves. Other people’s opinions of us do matter: each has value as they serve to help us better know who we are or how we are perceived by the world. (This has a direct impact on our relationships and successes/failures in life.) However, my worth is not dependent on other’s opinions of me. God has already predetermined my value and that is my only measure of worth. Other’s comments pertaining to my attitudes or behaviors can help me better understand how I am presenting myself to others. In this regard, I may need to reconsider how I treat people and make the necessary adjustments in order to better get along with everyone. This can be incredibly helpful in all of my relationships.

Summary: Remember that you are the master of your life. You have free will and intellect. You and you alone determine whether or not you be will angry or happy. No one can push your buttons and make you angry; no one has the ability to make you feel anything including anger. It’s all in your head, or more accurately, your thoughts.

Q: “Choose your thoughts wisely. They determine the outcome of your life. Remember: Where your mind goes your life follows.”

*See TECO Magic in The Secret Side of Anger
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FIVE EASY STEPS TO INNER PEACE

One of my favorite authors, the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, once stated that “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” This seemed rather contradictory to the common belief that a peaceful state of existence is a destination we arrive at after traversing a righteous path. Wayne challenges us to view peace as a state of mind, a choice, a way of life. One who is serene makes different conscious choices in the way they live. Here are five steps you can take to create a more peaceful life:

1. Refrain from judging others. Judgment of those who are different from us in any way or from what we consider acceptable is arrogant and self-righteous. In comparing individuals to ourselves or others we deem them less valuable, less worthy or inherently wrong and in doing so create unrest within ourselves. Once we commit this infraction, we must then work through the process of forgiveness in order to reinstate serenity. Remember that we were all created equal by our Heavenly Father. It is our personal issues that are unique to each of us but we are not our issues. We are physical expressions of God’s love in this world. Recognizing such eliminates the need for judgment.

2. Be grateful. In all that you do, find things to be grateful for. Gratitude wards off bitterness and resentment and allows for joy to flourish. Recognizing all of the beauty God created that is available to us on a daily basis keeps us focused on the positive, on the blessings in life. It also enables us to find goodness in every situation, including hardships, loss, betrayals, and such. I am at peace with all that is and do not feel the need to change anything for nothing is lacking. Everything is exactly as it is meant to be in this moment.

I begin each morning in prayer: “Heavenly Father, thank you for everything you have given me, for everything you have taken away from me, for everything you have left me, and for everything that is yet to come. Amen.”

3. Re Evaluate. Put everything into its proper perspective. Very little that occurs in life with worthy of upset. Most incidences are relatively insignificant and only have the degree of importance that we assign them. Asking yourself, “Will this even matter in ten years?” enables us to release much of what distresses us. In that way, we eliminate worry, fear, anxiety, anger and other stressful emotions. Trust in God. He’s overseeing everything. What may appear initially to be damaging may in truth reveal itself at a later date to be a great blessing. Look beyond the obvious to the value within.

4. Always be kind. In any given situation, we have the option to be kind or cruel. Choosing kindness allows for a more positive outcome to the situation. It prevents hurt feelings, is inclusive rather than divisive, shows respect, values the other party, uplifts and inspires, encourages and heals, and invites others to respond similarly. And, it’s good for the soul (yours and theirs). Knowing you were polite and courteous enables you to feel good about yourself and at peace with your actions. Even in circumstances where others are being unfair or rude, you can maintain your dignity by enforcing reasonable boundaries and extending respect regardless.

5. Live for God. Most people do what feels good or what they believe is right for them. Since our knowledge is limited, a more reliable source for righteousness is our Heavenly Father. Doing what makes me feel good in the moment can have serious consequences for me and those around me later on. However, when I follow God’s directive and live my life in such a way as to always seek to do what is right by Him, then I never make decisions that I will later regret nor that may cause suffering to others for all of my actions are motivated by love. In this way, I am at peace knowing my life is a reflection of God’s Word. No God – No Peace; Know God – Know Peace.

As Wayne Dyer stated, peace is the way. But the key to living a peaceful life is awareness. Just as one much pay careful attention as they traverse down any path in life so as not to become distracted and lose their way, one must always keep their eyes on peaceful choices, making peace their way of life. It’s not so hard, really. And it is well worth the effort.

“Peace isn’t the absence of fighting; peace is the presence of kindness.” The Secret Side of Anger by Janet Pfeiffer

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

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THE WHY’S WAY TO NEUTRALIZE ANGER

If I told you that there was one simple word that could prevent anger from arising would you be interested in discovering what that word is? Or in the event that anger showed up without warning, this same word could easily subdue it and restore your sense of calm? Would you utilize this information to create a happier life for yourself? Of course you would! Well, there is one simple magic word that can do just that, and the word is “WHY”.
People often get angry without a deep understanding of the cause. Some have short fuses and every small incident seems to irritate them. In areas where the average person might not give the event a second thought, others fly off the handle. When asked why they are angry, oftentimes they have no rational explanation. “I don’t know – some things just bother me a lot.” In the case of observing another person become upset over something we deem to be a non issue, we may make such statements as, “You’re acting like a fool!” or “You have no reason to be angry.”

Ours is an angry planet and sadly, not only do people refuse to take responsibility for their ire, but in many instances fail to have to clear understanding of why the anger emerged initially. Taking a moment to inquire “Why” from different perspectives can truly be enlightening by providing much insight into one’s feelings and underlying issues behind the rage. Consider the following scenarios where “why” can neutralize or prevent anger from manifesting.

Dealing with one’s own anger:
Imagine you’re in a situation that triggers your anger. You ordered a gift for your husband’s birthday making sure there was ample time for it to arrive by his special day. However, the package was a week late and when you opened it you realized they had send the wrong item. You are livid and immediately call customer service, proceeding to rant on the woman hired to assist you. Even one who’s trained and paid to deal with irate customers is not deserving of your wrath. She assures you that the correct item will be mailed promptly and offers to send you a return shipping label to make the return process easier for you. For your inconvenience, she is authorized to give you a 10% gift certificate off of your next purchase. Your anger begins to subside as you offer her an apology for your rudeness. Damage done and corrected. However, wouldn’t it have been wiser to not become so agitated from the get go?

By utilizing the “why” question, one can avoid an angry outburst such as described. Upon the first inkling of annoyance, stop and ask yourself, “Why am I so upset? Why am I allowing this relatively insignificant incident to cause me so much grief?” The answers might be something like, “This company/worker is inept. This is no way to run a business. I am frustrated and feel that as a paying customer they don’t value my business. That’s rude and disrespectful of me and that makes me mad!”

The why challenges me to look within myself for the answers rather than blame others and hold them accountable for how I feel. Are my feelings valid? Are my perceptions of the company/workers fair and reasonable? Are my expectations (of perfection on their part) unrealistic? Am I being too harsh and judgmental? What does my anger afford me? Do I think I need it in order to rectify the situation? Can I achieve the same results or better by taking a different approach, perhaps one of logic and reason?

Authentic power comes from one’s ability and willingness to look at themselves, to question their feelings, actions, motives, objectives, etc. The why begins the process of self-awareness and self-awareness is the beginning of personal growth. This process may reveal that I am being unfair in my expectations and assessments of those involved, that I am demanding too much. Or perhaps I’m too sensitive and take things personally when in reality I was not being targeted by anyone. My willingness to make the necessary adjustments will diffuse my current anger and prevent it from manifesting in similar future situations.

Dealing with an angry person (as an observer):
If you are dealing with someone who is outraged over an incident that does not involve you, asking the why question can help them come to a deeper understanding of precisely why they are reacting to said event with anger. Similar in nature to the questions one asks themselves, begin by asking why are they upset? Why do they allow this incident to become problematic for them? Does it change the situation? Will it make things better for them? What’s fascinating about questioning others rather than telling them what to do (“Don’t be angry!”) is that it challenges them to discover their truth on their own. Most people do not respond well to others who impose demands or suggestions on them. However, when one comes to this realization of their own volition, the impact is far greater and more meaningful. Again, challenging them to think about their feelings and the why behind them enables them to better understand themselves, examine if their response is warranted and advantageous for them and those around them, and to possibly make wiser choices in the moment or in the future.

Here’s an example: Recently my friend took her dog to the vet for an unusual skin infection. The vet diagnosed it and ordered a treatment plan. Since it was highly contagious, my friend needed treatment as well. Wanting to ensure that the procedure was meticulously carried out, she inquired as to how long the healing process would take, when she and her dog would no longer be contagious, and if there was a chance of a reoccurrence. The doctor was unable to give precise answers cue to the nature of the condition but did so in more generalized terms. She became furious and demanded more specifics which he could not supply. I inquired of her, “Why is this an issue for you? Why did you speak to him that? Why did you react that way? Why do you feel the way you do?”

She confided that she was scared that the condition would not be resolved within a reasonable period of time and that she or her pet could possible infect others if still contagious. She also worried that if the infection returned, it would cause more damage to their health and add to her already high expenses.

Having a deeper understanding of her why’s, her fears and sense of powerlessness, we were able to look more closely at them and find somewhat reasonable solutions for each. We contact another vet, did research online, and contacted the drug manufactures. In doing so, she felt more in control of her health and her pet’s and subsequently her anger subsided. She began to trust that as time progressed answers would become more apparent and that not everything could be revealed at the precise time she desired. She overcame her fear by building trust (in herself and her vet) and patience in the process. She’ll be able to reference this process in future circumstances.

Dealing with an angry person (if you are a target):
There are times when each of us has been the target of someone else’s anger. At times, we are aware that we may have said or done something inappropriate that preceded their reaction. I may have been late meeting my sister at the restaurant for dinner or perhaps I shared one of her secrets with a coworker when she had specifically instructed me to keep the information confidential. There are also incidences where we are clueless as to why their anger is being directed at us. In any event, the why question can bring greater clarity to the situation.

“Why are you angry with me? Is there something I said or did that offended you?” “Why did you react that way when I told you I couldn’t help you move on Saturday?” “Why is my attitude a problem for you?” “Why does the way I live my life bother you?” Be forewarned, that if you ask a question you must be willing to listen to the answer, even if you don’t understand or agree with it.

Without the why it is easy to become defensive when someone is angry with us or when we see them acting out in a hostile manner. Why provides an understanding of what caused the anger to surface and understanding opens the door to compassion. When I realize that the other party is worried about the safety of their child and are emotionally drained, then it comes as no surprise that they have little tolerance for any distractions. When one imposes their anger on me and through the why I come to realize that this is all they know from growing up in a home with parents who used yelling and threats as a means of communication and discipline, then I understand that they are only utilizing what they have learned. Practicing patience with them while they discover a more appropriate way of expressing themselves makes our relationship tolerable.

If you are a child being told by your parents that you cannot do something you’d like to do, asking why can better help you to understand the motives behind their response. Perhaps the situation is too dangerous or there isn’t enough time or money to do so. Disappointment may remain but anger will be less likely to surface. If your child behaves in a way that you find appalling, a simple, “Why did you do that?” rather than responding with an angry “You’re grounded!” can provide insights into your child’s thought process, helping to provide clarity behind their actions. This can be a catalyst for a meaningful discussion.

Likewise, when our political or church leaders make decisions that impact us that we are not in agreement with, oftentimes we react with outrage. However, inquiring why can better help us understand the reasoning behind their actions. We may still not agree with their decisions but may better understand their rationale for doing so. And in some cases, their response can provide an open debate to ultimately find better solutions.
In any event, why is a powerful and wise response to anger in general. As I previously stated, why provides understanding and understanding leads to compassion – a perfect means to neutralize anger.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
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