For thirty-five years as a psychologist, business consultant and writer, I have tried to help clients and readers keep the difficult people at work and at home from driving them crazy. To that end, I can offer one inspirational piece of advice: In difficult situations, before you do or say anything, stop and ask yourself, “What do I want to happen?”
The reason this simple advice works magic has to do with the structure of your brain. At times, that same structure also makes this advice surprisingly hard to follow. Here’s why:
Human consciousness is a messy pile of thoughts, feelings, fears and desires. At the bottom of the pile are instincts programmed into your reptile brain. At the top are conscious intentions. In emotionally laden situations, as when we are trying to deal with difficult people, we are more likely to fall back on our reptilian instincts rather than thinking things through. This always makes the situation worse.
The big problem is that in the heat of the moment, it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish between instincts and thought.
Imagine that someone is angry with you. Needless to say, it’s not your fault, but please don’t say that yet….Continue reading at InspireMeToday.com.
Dr. Al is a psychologist, business consultant and speaker.
Photo Credit: Max Elman