Stay in control of your own emotions “Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"
Do you feel angry or upset by a friend who likes to pass offhand remarks? Do you feel annoyed over a co-worker’s behaviour? How do you handle people who push your buttons?
Choosing on how you react is power. Why? Because the moment you respond to what they said or react to their actions, they have taken over your “emotional” control. You have the right not to give them the permission to push your button.
It does not mean that you are allowing them to walk all over you or their behaviour is acceptable, it simply means you choose to be in control.
Here are four tips on how to handle the button-pushers:
1) Take a deep breath and stay calm. Don’t lose your control when in the first place, they are the ones who is having a problem, not you. So take a backseat and let them be the actor/actress.
2) Put things into perspective. See things from opposing view in order to understand the whole picture. Try compromising to achieve a win-win situation. If that person continues to be unreasonable and defensive, go back to Step 1.
3) Focus on the issue at hand and don’t get personal with the person. Sometimes we end up getting sidetracked and instead of talking over the issue at hand, we get emotional and attack each other personally which is not going to help in resolving the issue.
4) Don’t waste your time planning strategies on how to deal with that person and figuring them out. They created the drama so why are you getting involved? Walk away and don’t let them take up the mental space in your mind and lose focus on important things that is more deserving of your attention.
On the other hand, in some situations, you may need to reflect your own reaction. According to psychologists, there is a term called Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) in which there is a tendency to judge a person’s behaviour based on internal disposition rather than understanding the situation that may cause the person to behave in that manner.
An example of fundamental attribution error is say we have lunch with a co-worker and he kept silent throughout the meal. We conclude that he is having an attitude problem and being anti-social. In this example, it is possible that you may wrongly assume that his behaviour reflects his personality and fail to consider situational factors that could explain his behaviour. It could be he just received news from his doctor about some illness he has been diagnosed.
If you know this fact earlier, you would have reacted differently. You will be more empathetic and understanding towards his situation. Did you notice how your emotions shifted immediately on how you perceive the other’s person behaviour eventhough the situation and behaviour is the same? Do not judge or make assumption about other’s behaviour before understanding the situation.
We will always be surrounded with people who say or do things that are totally unjustifiable, no matter how you look at them. Don’t compromise your time now for something that don’t matter eventually. Move on.
As in the words of Dalai Lama, don’t let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace.