Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Dealing With Insults Effectively

My husband is brutal: he teases and torments me unmercifully. But I’m just as bad. From the moment we wake up until we crawl exhausted into bed at the end of the day, we are constantly harassing one another. In fact, the first words out of his mouth as he opens his eyes at 5 am are “Are you annoying me yet?” To which I respond, “I can begin whenever you want.” Or perhaps I’m feeling more considerate at that moment: “I’m trying really hard not to but it’s not working.” If, later in the day, he asks why I’m being so irritating I simply reply, “Because you make it so easy for me!” Then we both have a good laugh. It doesn’t matter how many times we repeat this exact scenario, we still find it hilarious. We know each others funny bones intimately and are well aware of what each person is comfortable with in terms of teasing as well as what crosses the line. I can tell simply by his body language if I’ve gone to far. It may be that I’ve touched upon something sensitive or perhaps he’s simply not in the playful zone at that moment. Either way, I immediately acknowledge my lack of sensitivity and apologize. He, like each of us, decides what is and isn’t amusing to him or when something, once taken in jest, has lost its lighthearted component.

But how can one know if a cutting remark is playful banter or a biting insult? There are a few key elements that distinguish the two. To insult is “to treat with indignity or contempt; to injure or offend; rude” – powerful words all indicative of disrespect with an attempt to harm. Good natured, witty, and joking are words used to define banter, quite a contrast from a verbal slur. In addition to one’s choice of words, intent is critical in determining whether a comment is impudent or witty. Your best friend may refer to you as crazy. Insult or banter? If that term suggests that you are mentally imbalanced and possibly dangerous you would probably take offense. However, if she was referring to your unpredictable, free-spirited, and fun-filled behavior you may very well delight in her assessment.

Prior to engaging in playful banter, consider the following:
o Know person’s level and style of humor before making any remarks.
o Pay careful attention to your motive: is it playful, light-hearted; intended to make the other person laugh?
o Avoid sensitive topics or anything that may be perceived as offensive or impolite.
o Be certain the individual is in a jovial mood.
o Check your sarcasm at the door. Sarcasm is not humor – it is passive/aggressive anger.

The following characterize insulting behavior:
o You seek to get reaction out of other party, to exert power and control over their feelings and actions; symptomatic of bullying behavior.
o Your comments are embarrassing, humiliating, hurting or causing discomfort to the intended party.
o Your comments are unkind, disrespectful, negative, and serve no productive purpose.

If in fact, you are subjected to derogatory statements, take positive action:
o First and foremost, seek to understand why their comments bother you. This experience can truly be an enlightening moment if you allow it to be. Ask yourself, “What within me needs to heal?”
o Speak up, be assertive. Inform the other person that you do not care for what they are saying to or about you. Set and enforce firm and reasonable boundaries.
o Remove yourself from the individual or situation. Re evaluate if it is in your best interest to continue having a relationship with them and if so, to what extent.
o Remember, their comments are not reflective of you but rather are a portal to their issues. Forgive them for their insensitive remarks.

Conversation needn’t be stuffy or restricted. One can speak openly and honestly to others even concerning sensitive issues. But when words hurt, we need to take a step back, re examine ourselves, consider the motives behind such statements, and choose how we interpret and respond to them. Words can fill our souls with joy and laughter or rip our hearts to pieces. So choose them wisely for once spoken they can never be retracted. And the effects can be long-lasting.

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://www.iheart.com/talk/show/53-Anger-911-Radio/
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

How to Start and/or Stop an Argument

Being a part of any relationship for a period of time affords an individual the opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t with each respective person. I may be able to discuss politics with Uncle Joe but Aunt Sue? Never! He’s open minded to other people’s views and enjoys a lively debate. Aunt Sue, on the other hand, is opinionated, is a right-fighter (one who always has to be right as Dr. Phil refers to them), and becomes nasty with those who disagree with her. I can joke around with my husband and refer to him as my “hairless honey” but my friend Steve is very sensitive about his lack of locks.

One of my favorite topics to discuss is God. I’m madly in love with Him and like a teenage who’s fallen in love for the first time, I can’t stop thinking and talking about Him. But try to have a discussion about our Lord with a defensive non believer and you may be in for a rough ride. (I learned that lesson the hard way on facebook – some of them can get down-right ugly!)

We all know what topics we can discuss with certain people and which ones to avoid. We also know what turns a harmless discussion into a vicious argument. (A disagreement is not synonymous with argument by the way. The first is simply a difference of opinion. The latter engenders hostility and sometimes aggression.) Granted, there are those who love the drama – they seek out opportunities to incite a good fight. I’m not one of them. While I enjoy a good debate, I abhor arguing and will do my best to avoid it. Then, too, there are some who engage in a discussion and wonder why every conversation results in quarreling and hurt feelings. “People are so sensitive! Everything you say they take the wrong way.” They fail to recognize their own contributions to the contamination of the dialogue.

Here are some surefire tips to convert any conversation into an argument:
• Know what issues the other party is sensitive to or passionate about. Engage one of those topics for discussion.
• Know what to say or do to provoke them, being certain to push their buttons whenever possible.
• Infuse a hefty dose of criticism, sarcasm, and insults. Insert a few expletives and round it off with a threat or two for good measure.
• Always be right. Never admit to being mistaken about anything.
• Be as arrogant and close minded as possible. Never listen to or consider the other person’s position.
• Exaggerate and embellish whenever possible. This will certainly destroy your credibility.

If you would prefer to keep things civil, try the following:
• Refuse to engage in highly sensitive or provoking topics. Don’t initiate or participate in them regardless of how much the other party persists.
• Stay out of other people’s business. If it does not concern you do not be concerned.
• If necessary, walk away before the conversation turns nasty.
• Remain open and respectful of the other person’s position. Acknowledge their feelings, beliefs, and needs even if you don’t understand or agree with them.
• Be sensitive and kind but firm when necessary. When speaking, be crystal clear and judiciously concise.
• Carefully choose your words, tone of voice, and attitude. Always consider how they would sound to you if the other party said them.
• If the situation becomes heated, know what to say or do to calm things down. A simple validation is often enough. “I can see how important this issue is to you.”
• Don’t take personal offense to what the other party is saying. Their behavior mirrors their inner self and is in no way a reflection of you.

Discussions are a vital aspect of every healthy relationship and enable individuals to acquire greater knowledge of one another, the issue at hand, to find resolution whenever necessary. They also serve as a means to strengthen the rapport between all parties. With a few simple techniques and a bit of restraint, anyone can keep a dialogue civil and productive.

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://www.iheart.com/talk/show/53-Anger-911-Radio/
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

The Surprising Cause of Stress, Part 1

Today is “tax day”. For millions of American tax payers it is probably their least favorite time of the year, propelling them into a state of duress and anxiety. For a business owner such as myself the task of gathering all of my receipts and itemizing my expenses is time consuming and definitely not on my list of top ten favorite any things. A highly qualified CPA makes the process of filing much easier for me… that is, until we hit a snag between banking protocol and IRS regulations concerning IRA rollovers which seem to contradict one another. Feeling helpless against a powerful government agency that has the authority to make life a living hell is, to say the least, a bit unnerving. However, the worst case scenario is not going to land me in jail or deplete my retirement savings.

A recent poll shared by WPLJ Radio posed this question to women across America: “What is your biggest problem?” A whopping 35% responded: “men”. Since dealing with problems are stressful, is it safe to deduce that stress is caused by men? (Only kidding, guys! I’m actually on your side. Don’t listen to these women – you are not, I repeat not, the problem nor are you responsible for their stress.) Stress is actually less complicated than one may believe. Like anger, it is only a symptom of a deeper issue. And like anger, there can be thousands of triggers but only two root causes. Stress, a state of being characterized by feelings of physical, emotional, or mental tension, is actually rooted in fear and frustration. Let’s take a look at each one:

Fear: feelings of worry, anxiety, concern, and apprehension all contribute to feeling stressed out. We worry about finding a good job, moving to another city, losing our spouse or being alone. Each time we anticipate a negative circumstance we generate feelings of uncertainty. And fear of the unknown is one of life’s greatest causes of distress. Do you struggle with What If Syndrome? What if I get lost? What if my husband gets cancer? What if the plane crashes and I die? What if my child doesn’t get into the college of his choice? Or what if he does and I can’t afford the tuition? We project the worst possible outcome and proceed to worry over things that may never manifest.

Fear is a lack of trust in a situation, another person, ourselves or God: in a situation – we feel unsafe, such as sky diving for the first time. This is a dangerous hobby. I could be seriously injured; with other people – a person is perceived as a threat to my security and well-being. A jealous co worker has the potential to get me fired; in ourselves – we lack confidence in our abilities to handle whatever situations life presents to us. I could never survive the loss of a child; and most importantly a lack of trust in God – if He really is a loving God, why do bad things keep happening to me? I pray for healing every day and still I suffer with chronic back pain.

The way to overcome fear is two-fold. On a practical level: by building our self-confidence, in part, by reminding ourselves of everything we have faced, survived, and overcome thus far in life. On a spiritual level: through our faith in God, knowing that He never promised us that life would be easy or fair, only that He would never abandon us, that whatever we truly needed (not wanted) would be provided for us, and that if we followed His directive we would reap abundant blessings. Just look around you. It’s all ready there.

Frustration: feelings of anxiety derived from the need to control a situation or individual. When people don’t behave in a manner I deem appropriate, when they won’t comply with my wishes or demands, or when a situation does not proceed as I anticipated, I feel helpless and powerless. Being out of control causes anxiety within me as I realize something or someone else is determining the outcome of this situation and/or possibly my life. I do not trust anyone enough to give them power and authority over me. I do not have confidence that they have my best interest at heart.

When I realize that control is an illusion (I have zero control over situations and/or others) and recognize that whatever enters my life is ultimately there for my higher good*, then I do not need to have the final say in how life reveals itself to me. I can relax and be more at ease, knowing that I have full dominion over how I maximize every experience I participate in. I choose how I think, feel, react to, and utilize each and every occurrence. I can transform any perceived negative into a positive simply by my internal choices and how I express them.

People and events that contradict my ideals will always be a part of my life. By addressing the underlying causes of stress and living a faith-based life coupled with the wisdom to fully embrace every situation I experience, I can approach each day with greater peace and composure thereby significantly reducing the amount of stress that enters my life. And a peace-filled lifestyle supports a joy-filled existence.

* “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

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://www.iheart.com/talk/show/53-Anger-911-Radio/
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+