Posts Tagged ‘FAMILY’

10 WAYS TO STOP PEOPLE FROM ANNOYING YOU

They’re like mosquitoes on a hot summer night – those irritating and annoying people. They can be found anywhere from our families or coworkers to drivers on the roadways to complete strangers we encounter while on vacation. Their quirky behaviors and annoying habits can ruin our day. Other than blow up, walk away, or simply endure their lack of sensitivity towards others, we often feel powerless to do anything about it. Uncle Joe who thinks he knows everything, a spouse who is chronically late for even the most important events, people who interrupt or bite their nails or cannot complete a sentence without saying “um” a gazillion times – augh! They drive us crazy!

Being annoyed is the mildest form of anger and subsequently takes the least amount of effort to address. If left unresolved it can easily progress to anger, then aggression (the 3 A’s of Anger, as I refer to them – annoyed, angry, aggressive), each becoming more intense in nature. What is it about those people that make them so irritating and perhaps more importantly, what can we do to get them to stop? Actually, the problem isn’t with them at all. Feeling annoyed is a state of mind, an emotion, and all emotions originate in our thoughts. While their actions may be less than what we consider ideal, we choose how we interpret them, feel about them, as well as how we react.

There are several reasons why other people’s behaviors bother us, such as when they behave in ways that are different than ours or what we deem to be normal or appropriate. It’s easy to place labels and judgments on others and the moment we do so we experience feelings about them. We compare their behavior to our own: “I would never do that” or to others: “No one else behaves that way.” And since our behavior is acceptable to us then the logical conclusion is that there must be something inherently wrong with theirs. We view their actions as flawed.

When others don’t live up to our expectations of what we believe they should or should not be doing or who they should or should not be, we feel disappointed, uncomfortable, or concerned about their well-being or perhaps about our own welfare within the context of the relationship. Opposing belief systems, as well as behaviors, lend cause for discomfort and concern. A law firm comprised of three generations of attorneys finds a rebel grandchild who chooses to start a rock band instead of continuing a long-established family tradition. The older generation cannot comprehend why anyone in their right mind would reject a foolproof career choice for one of little certainty. They cannot discuss any aspect of it without becoming agitated and annoyed.

In some instances, people will try to manipulate the other party into changing their ways with such statements as “Why can’t you be more like your sister/me/everyone else?” Or “There’s something wrong with people who act the way you do. You need to get some help.” Other times they may ban certain subjects from discussion or may even choose to disengage with the bothersome individual.
Humans, by their very nature, do not feel comfortable with those who are different. We tend to date the same kinds of people and socialize with those we share common interests with. When someone enters our world who has even the slightest quirkiness we are quick to criticize. We feel uncomfortable, out of our element, and want them to conform to our standards in order that we may feel at ease. Keep in mind, however, that annoying people are not the problem. Problems only exist in the mind. They do not view themselves nor their beliefs or behaviors as problematic. They are at peace with them. It is only the outsider, you or I, that labels it a problem. Therefore, the problem is not them but with us. You and I have the problem and likewise are the only ones who can institute a solution. Keep in mind, too, that unless an attitude or behavior is illegal, immoral, or a threat to my health or well-being, I have no right to ask or expect anyone to change anything about themselves. Just as I expect others to accept me as I am, so must I be willing to do the same first.

So how then do you stop someone from annoying you? Below are some suggestions in no particular order:
1. Remember that being annoyed is a personal choice. No one can make you feel anything. All emotions originate in the mind. Change your perception (thoughts) about them and the feelings will change accordingly.

2. Remove all expectations of how people should be or act. Never should on anyone. People are not here to live up to your expectations. Respect them enough to give them the freedom to be who they are.

3. Life is meant to unfold naturally. You can force a rose to bloom in a greenhouse in winter but it will not survive the harsh conditions of its natural environment. So it is with people: each has to grow and bloom in their own time and way. Let go and let God. It’s all in His hands.

4. Make light of the situation but do not make fun of it or the individual. Interject humor to diffuse your exasperation for your own sense of well-being. Put things into perspective. Remember my 10 year rule: if I won’t remember it or it won’t matter in 10 years then it’s not that important.

5. Be compassionate if the situation warrants it. Sometimes those who have odd behaviors are struggling with deep rooted personal issues.

6. Be understanding. Everyone journeys through life in their own time and way. Every experience and choice they make has purpose and value to them. It is all a necessary part of their evolutionary process.

7.Stay out of their business and focus your attention on your own beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. “Wherever you direct your energy is where change will occur.” You cannot change others; the only change you can initiate is within. Let go of the need to fix or change anyone other than yourself.
8. If their behavior puts you at risk, speak with them and set some reasonable boundaries. Keep in mind that they must be fair and realistic with equal consideration for all parties.

9. Be aware of your own behavior and how may be impacting others. It is not only the other person who can prove to be irritating.

10. Understand that every person who enters our life, every experience we have, no matter how bothersome we may think it is, has purpose and value. Learn to trust in God. Find the significance in everyone and everything. In that way, rather than being annoyed, you can appreciate the experience and find inner peace and acceptance.
In conclusion, annoyance is the mildest form of anger and if left unaddressed can lead to more serious conditions. Never allow small insignificant irritations to rob you of your joy and tranquility. Being annoyed at someone is a matter of judgment. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Once aware, we must be more diligent in allowing others to simply be. “It is what it is” is a mantra that helps to restore the serenity that slips away when we allow other people to bother us. We cannot change how others behave but we can certainly, and must, determine how we allow them to impact us. Inner peace matters most.

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10 QUICK TIPS TO RESOLVE FAMILY FEUDS

Families can be our greatest source of joy as well as a never ending cause of stress. Comprised of a diverse blend of personalities, families are a mixture of quirky behaviors, opposing viewpoints, various needs, beliefs, and values, along with opposing methods of how members perform certain tasks. Being unskilled at even the most basic aspects of resolving conflicts, as most of us are, can result in minor differences escalating our stress levels and causing tempers to flare. Keep in mind that every member, regardless of how easy-going, intelligent or advanced in age, contributes to the dynamics of the family unit. Some may overtly create drama while others do so in a more discreet manner. Recognizing the subtleties of each person’s actions along with understanding the motives behind them can better enable individuals to address the underlying (or real) issues and find reasonable solutions.

It is critical, however, that each party recognize their own contributions to the so-called problems of the family while vowing to become part of the solution instead. Therefore, before engaging in the process, ask yourself the following questions: What has my role in this situation been? How have I contributed to the breakdown of our family unit? Is it my attitude, actions, words, or lack thereof? On every level, we are either part of the problem or part of the solution. I must first take inventory of my destructive contributions before I can expect to achieve any degree of success with other members. Assuming I have successfully completely this task and corrected any transgressions , I can now proceed using the following 10 strategies to resolve family feuds:

1. As respectfully as possible (it is always possible), and without making accusations, clearly and succinctly identify the area that needs attention. State facts only, not opinions.
“We need to address the imbalance of chores in our family to make certain each person is doing their fair share.” I need not go into a lengthy dissertation about how I do the bulk of the work and specifically what chores I’m burdened with while pointing out that my lazy good-for-nothing brother spends all of his time with his friends and never lifts a finger around the house. Name calling, blame, and exaggerations never fair well in resolving family disputes.

2. Remove all distractions such as all technology, small children or any projects you may be working on. This enables all parties to be fully engaged with one another.
Expect that for the next 15 or 30 minutes or so, everyone involved will focus their full attention on discussing the issue at hand. If necessary, write down the subject matter on a piece of paper that can easily serve as a visual reminder of what issue is being addressed. Refer to it whenever necessary.

3. Allow each party ample time to state what is on their mind without interruption. In this way, each individual will relax knowing they will have adequate time to express their thoughts and concerns.
Assign a facilitator who will direct and manage the course of the discussion. The use of an egg timer (or watch) can be a valuable asset. Initially each person is given 2-3 minutes to state their concerns or position. When everyone has had the opportunity to speak, the discussion can be opened to random comments. Provide the “speaker” with a small device to hold, such as a pencil. No one may interrupt whomever holds the pencil. The facilitator will ensure each person is granted equal time speaking by passing the pencil on to the next family member.

4. Validate their perspective. Consider their feelings, needs, desires, and such as valid as your own, even if you vehemently disagree with them. Listen with your heart, not simply your ears. This is compassion.
Remember that for each individual their feelings, perception, desires, etc are as valuable and real to them as yours are to you. You need not share them in order to understand this concept. Be gracious and thoughtful.

5. Ask questions to gain deeper insight into what they are saying.
Typically, people will make statements, form judgments, or argue with their opposing family member. True resolution is attained by each person’s willingness to better understand the others. Rather than state, “You only think about yourself”, ask “How did you come to this decision? Have you considered how it would impact those around you?”

6. Avoid criticizing or making fun of them. Be respectful at all times.
Contrary to popular belief, respect does not need to be earned. It is a God-given right of all human beings. The word itself means “to value”. To respect someone simply means that you recognize their worth as equal to yours and all of humanity. Their opinions, beliefs, and behaviors may be questionable but we are none of those. Attack the problem, not the person; comment on the actions, never belittle the individual. Be certain you understand the difference – it’s critical.

7. Avoid blame or accusations. Both are destructive and will sabotage any progress from occurring.
When something goes awry, we need a target to direct our anger at. Blame reveals a lack of introspection and self-accountability. It is self-defeating and robs us of our personal power. Accusations are assumptions based on supposition rather than fact. Dealing with fact-based information is significantly more productive.

8. Inquire as to what they need from you for this issue to be resolved. Listen open mindedly and non-defensively. Discuss whether or not you will be able to accommodate their needs. Make any necessary adjustments.
Expressing concern for the other party’s happiness, safety, success, etc is the beginning of building trust. This is the foundation for all healthy relationships and a critical component for effectively resolving disagreements. People are more inclined to cooperate with those they trust as they know the other person has their best interest at heart as well as their own. Be generous in this area. You will be well rewarded.

9. State your position, needs, feelings, wants, etc. Express what you need from them in order to put this issue to rest. Make certain your requests are fair and reasonable.
Generally speaking, your needs are as important as the other party’s. I say generally because there are instances where an issue matters more to one person than it does to the other. In situations such as these, one can concede and allow the other to obtain what they need. However, if you feel strongly about your position, put forth a reasonable request and be certain that on some level yours are being fulfilled as well.

10. Compromise. A “winner takes all” mentality is never a solution. All parties must feel satisfied in some way in order for the issue to truly be resolved once and for all. Thank them for taking the time to work through this issue.
Finding the middle ground is a sign of truly caring about the other person. Again, this is a building block of trust and trust fosters healthy, sustainable relationships. Respect and trust convert to cooperation, a necessary component to comprehensive conflict resolution. Put your ego aside and consider the other person as you would want them to consider you.

Families will always disagree on things but our differences needn’t escalate into full blown family feuds. Each member plays a vital role in the wholeness and integrity of the unit. When we learn to embrace the uniqueness and giftedness of each individual, we can utilize those qualities to strengthen and enrich the whole. And we can finally live in harmony with and enjoy our families, free from fighting and drama.

Q: “The only way to peaceful coexistence is through compassionate understanding and support. Allow each family member to be who they are, always encouraging them to be the joyful people they were created to be.”

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

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Diffusing Family Tension

I’ve spent over twenty years working with families as a spiritual life coach. Many of my clients divulge painful or embarrassing situations that their families are struggling with, believing there must be something wrong with them since other families they know appear so well adjusted. I assure them that even in the most seemingly normal families there are often veiled matters of concern. Dealing with tension and strife in our family units can present unique challenges. In our social environments we can more easily disengage or remove ourselves from problematic circumstances. But when your sister marries someone who defines the very essence of drama, exiting may not be a logical option. Is there a way families can reduce the amount to tension between them? While we may not be able to completely eliminate it, we most certainly can take measures to make family interactions more enjoyable.

1. Always be polite and cordial to every family member, even those you may not be particularly fond of. Avoid ignoring or showing favoritism as it can easily lead to hurt feelings, jealousy, and resentment.

2. In disagreements, refrain from using the terms right and wrong. Leave your ego out of all discussions and respect each person’s position.

3. Don’t second guess other people’s motives for what they are saying or doing. If you are uncertain, either give them the benefit of the doubt or ask questions to gain further clarity.

4. Avoid engaging in hot topics. If someone initiates a discussion known to evoke intense emotions, redirect the conversation to a more neutral issue. Likewise in regard to fuel-injected statements, those comments that are designed to anger the other person: “You Always…”, “I Never…”, “You have a problem!” “ANY” Words: Always, Never, and You can be toxic in conversations. Ban them from your vocabulary.

5. If you have an issue with a particular family member discuss it with them in private. Do not invite others into the conversation. Respect their privacy. Remember: too many cooks spoil the soup. Be respectful by refusing to gossip or speak unkindly about the individual with others as well.

6. Never interfere with the relationship between one family member and another. If you do not care for someone, at the very least be tolerant of others who still do.

7. Leave the past where it belongs. Do not dredge up old issues or reopen past wounds. Address current issues only.

8. If you find yourself becoming upset with someone, stop and discern what is really troubling you. Very often it has nothing to do with the other party. They may be triggering an unresolved issue within you that needs healing.

9. Whenever possible and appropriate, use humor as a way of diffusing tension. -appropriate being the optimum word.

10. In any situation, we have the option of being an instigator, participant, or healer of family tension. Always choose the latter. Be the voice of reason, the peacemaker, the example for others to follow.

And if for some reason you cannot contribute to the well-being of your family then at the very least do not contaminate it further.

Family members may not always cooperate with your efforts. But remember: you are not here for their approval, you are here to please God. In the words of St. Francis: “Lord make me an instrument of your peace.”

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

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