Let’s face it. In modern life, you’re bound be negatively impacted by the foolish or thoughtless decisions of someone else. Sometimes those people are family members or friends, but often times, they are coworkers and bosses. It’s a great irony of life, really—that our very livelihoods depend upon the ability to collaborate with people who we would never be friends with outside of work.
The truth is, we aren’t ever going to like everybody (and not everyone is going to like us). It’s a truth we start learning in the early days of elementary school and may continue to struggle with for the rest of our lives.
But, we can free ourselves from reacting negatively to the stress of interacting with difficult people. So the next time you’re face to face with a hard-to-like coworker or attending a difficult meeting, try going back to the principles of the 1Body Method to connect with your inner wisdom and peace of mind.
- Pause: Just the simple act of pausing for a few seconds can make the difference between completely losing your cool or responding with dignity and calm. When you find yourself getting reacting to a coworker or your boss, separate yourself from the challenge of the current situation by pausing to inhale and exhale. It’s a nearly invisible way for you to quiet your mind’s chatter and center yourself.
- Don’t React: In my course, How to Master Stress for the Rest of Your Life, I introduce this principle as “Slowing Down the Runway Train of Reactivity.” You can be guaranteed that when your initial impulse is to react negatively to the offending person, you’ll emerge from the situation with an ocean of regret. When you return to the principle of the pause I just mentioned, you allow yourself to slow down and create the space for greater awareness. This will help you see your options and decide which step forward is in your long-term, best interests.
- Be Honest: Sometimes, your reactions have absolutely nothing to do with the difficult people you’re interacting with. You may feel annoyed at a bossy coworker because you spent your whole life being bossed around by an older sibling. You may feel insecure or unappreciated if you don’t receive lots of reassuring acknowledgment. You may feel that no one values your opinion because you felt voiceless as a child. Whatever triggers you, it’s important to be able to identify when you’re dragging past hurts into current situations. “Am I seeing this clearly, or am I viewing it through the distorting lens of the past?” and “What am I making up about this?” are important questions to ask when you feel your emotional temperature rising.
Remember, our ability to find inner peace and to master stress for the rest of our lives already exists within us. The simple practice of taking a breath and pausing helps to reconnect us to the things that really matter, allowing us to focus on the present moment and evaluate our circumstances with greater honesty and courage.
Take good care : )
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