Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coping with difficult people

Hi everyone. I hope you are all striving to maintain a positive attitude in a world dominated by negativity. I have been thinking lately about some of the challenges we all encounter in our day to day activities. And one of them is dealing with difficult people. Some of these people may be our friends, partners, boss at work, colleagues and even neighbours. So, in an effort to assist you to maintain a positive attitude despite these people, i will like to share with you an article written by psychologist an author, Dr Keith Levick. Enjoy

We work with, play with, service‚ or are related to difficult people. Difficult people yell, explode, and try to intimidate you. If your life is free from these hostile and manipulative people, read no further. However, the probability of encountering these people is extremely likely. Although the difficult people make up 3-5% of the population, they create over 50% of the everyday problems!
Certainly, we all can be miserable, hostile and basically pretty unpleasant at times. But difficult people are this way all the time. A brief encounter with a difficult person leaves one angry, frustrated, and demoralized. These people go right for the jugular vein. The negative behavioral patterns they learned are used strategically to wear you down. Their only objective is to win regardless of who stands in their way.
Difficult people have learned to be this way because it is effective for them. Their hostile and negative behavior serves them well. Their arsenal of aggressive behavior catches their prey off guard and then renders them helpless. Consequently, after a confrontation with these people, it's not unusual to feel mentally abused and frustrated.
The first step in coping with a difficult person is to understand why they behave this way. Generally, these people are unhappy, insecure, and have low self-esteem. Early in life they learned to get their needs met in maladaptive ways, such as, being the bully. Although there are different types of difficult people - some are overly aggressive, while others may be passive-aggressive - their dynamics are similar. Like all human beings, all they want is to be loved and accepted. Unfortunately, they have learned inappropriate ways to achieve this.
These behavioral patterns are deeply ingrained in the personality of the difficult person. The overly-aggressive difficult person (one who bullies, explodes, screams, etc.) uses their aggressive posture as a defense mechanism. Because of their weak and fragile ego, they need to protect themselves. Their best defense is a strong offense-aggression. Therefore, they feel in control of themselves only in a situation that allows them to feel powerful. But it doesn't stop there. Like all weak people, their insatiable need to feel secure makes it necessary for them to win - and to win at any cost.
The second step in trying to cope with difficult people is to distinguish between a person who is having a bad day and one who is a difficult person. Keep in mind that difficult people make up a small percentage of the population. However, having an encounter with one makes that percentage appear larger.
The first way to help distinguish between the two is to reflect on the history of the person. In other words, "Is the behavioral pattern normal or unusual for this person?" The difficult person is this way all of the time. A non-difficult person who is having a bad day is just reacting to a particular situation.
Another approach in distinguishing between the difficult person and a person having a bad day is found in the way you communicate with them. Although hostile at first, the non-difficult person will eventually respond to your effective communication and rational reasoning. The difficult person will be relentless in their pursuit to beat you and win.
To help you maintain composure when confronted by difficult people, it is important to keep three things in mind. First, you can never change the difficult person. The old saying that a leopard never loses its spots holds true with the difficult person. These people need to be this way and for them to change is to expose their vulnerability.
When confronted by difficult people, remain focused and be firm. Like spiders spinning their webs, they are trying to trap you. By bombarding your ego with insults and intimidation, they want you to lose control and fight with them. When this happens, they "got-ya." Listen to them, maintain direct eye contact and when appropriate speak in a clear firm voice. It is easy to become wrapped up in the heated situation, so remain detached and distant from these people. Doing so helps keep you from becoming entangled in their web of misery and hostility.
The final step that will help you cope with the difficult person is to not personalize the problem. Certainly, this is easier said than done. Between wishing they would be different, thinking you can really help them, and trying to survive their emotional assault, it's difficult not to internalize the problem. Yet, in order to cope effectively with these people, it is crucial to maintain your self-esteem.
Some of the following thoughts might be helpful in your attempt to depersonalize the situation:
"This is their problem, I will not make it mine."
"I'm not going to allow anyone to dictate my behavior."
"They want me to fight with them, I won't allow it."
"Their need to be difficult is a cover-up for their own inadequacies."
"I have the choice to play or not this game."
The bottom line is that trying to cope with difficult people is never easy and is quite frustrating. Trust the fact that all people have trouble dealing with difficult people. Although it may not seem possible to deal with difficult people effectively, remain confident in your abilities and coping skills. And keep in mind that engaging in an argument with these people is a no-win proposition. In fact, the only way for you to win is to elect not to play.

An Eagle in a chicken Barnyard

Hi everyone, hope all is well. This week i will like to share with you a an inspirational story as told by motivational speaker, Matthew Arnold Stern. Enjoy.

An eagle in a chicken barnyard by Matthew Arnold.

The following is a speech I presented at Irvine Toastmasters on 30 April, 1996. I took a well-known motivational story I read back in my "self-help" days and added a twist to it.

Some time ago, my travels took me to San Bernardino County. I was driving up highway 215 through the agricultural area. The trip was uneventful. I passed miles and miles of farms and cattle ranges until something unusual caught my attention.

I pulled off the highway and drove over to a chicken farm at the side of the road. I noticed a flock of chickens eating their breakfast of grain and seeds in the yard, but I saw a bird in the middle of the flock that clearly wasn't a chicken. I took a closer look. It was a golden eagle -- a beautiful male one with golden brown feathers. I could tell that if it opened its wings, it would have a massive wingspan.

But what was more unusual than the fact that this eagle would be in the middle of a flock of chickens was that it acted like a chicken. It scratched its talons in the dirt. It used its massive curved and pointed beak to dig seeds and grains out of the ground. It even sounded like a chicken -- "Bwack, bwack, bwack, bwack!"

Puzzled, I decided to go into the farm and investigate. I spoke to the farmer, who was a tall, lanky man, and he told me what happened:

"One day, I was working in the yard when I saw this nest up in a tree. I could tell that the nest had been abandoned for some time. I looked up in that nest, and I saw this egg. I knew that if I left that egg there, it wasn't gonna last too long. So, I took it back and put it in my incubator. And one day, it hatched. And there was this baby eagle. Well, the only thing I could do was to raise it with my chickens."

I said, "You saved that eagle's life, but look what happened to it. It now thinks it's a chicken."

The farmer agreed, "Yes, I know."

I added, "You know, it's a shame for such a majestic, beautiful bird to be living like a lowly chicken instead of soaring in the air."

The farmer said, "I thoroughly agree with you."

I exclaimed, "And we ought to do something to help it!"

This was when the farmer began to protest. "Sir, there's something you must know..."

But I wasn't in the mood for any disagreement. "This eagle is living far below its potential. It needs to reach the full flowering of its eaglehood. It need to be a self-actualized eagle!"

"I agree with you, sir," the farmer argued, "But there's something you must know..."

I grew impatient. "Well, if you won't help this poor eagle, I will!"

So, I went back to the car and got my falconry gloves (which I always carry with me). I picked up the eagle and put him in my car.

We drove into the mountains. We went up a steep and winding road until we came to a bluff overlooking the valley. It was a beautiful view, and I could tell there were plenty of warm air currents for the eagle to glide upon.

So I told the eagle, "Look at these beautiful skies. Wouldn't you like to spread your wings and soar in them? Wouldn't you like to explore this beautiful valley and be master of all you survey. C'mon, buddy. Spread your wings and take off!"

You know, that bird didn't a budge an inch. It sat on my arms for hours! So, I decided it was time to try another approach.

So we drove down the mountain until we came to a meadow in the foothills. I noticed that there were plenty of field mice scurrying around. They didn't look tasty to me, but I figured my feathered friend would consider them filet mignon with fur.

I said to the eagle, "Look at all these mice running around here. I bet you'd find them tastier than the grain and seeds you've been eating. Wouldn't you like to fly off my arm and chow down?"

Well, the eagle did jump off my arm. I was beginning to feel optimistic, but that eagle just hopped down on the ground and started digging around for seeds.

I was beginning to get frustrated. So, I drove back up the mountain until I came to a large pine tree. Around the tree was a large group of eagles. There was about ten or twelve birds. And at the top of the tree was a beautiful female eagle. She had the same colors as the eagle I had. I figured biology must take over at this point.

I said to the eagle, "Look up there! Don't you see that beautiful lady eagle? Doesn't she look like the type of eagle you want to make eggs with? Don't you want to fly up there and introduce yourself? Maybe ask her out for cappuccino? C'mon, buddy. What do you think?"

The eagle just cocked back his head and said, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"

I had had enough. I put the eagle back in my car and drove back to the chicken farm. The farmer was waiting for me at the door.

"How did you do?," he asked me.

"Terrible. Nothing I did got that eagle to stop being a chicken. I took him up to a bluff in the mountains, thinking he would take flight. But, he wouldn't budge."

The farmer nodded.

"Then, I took him to a meadow where there was plenty of field mice. It was practically an eagle smorgasbord. But, he wanted to dig for seeds instead."

Again, the farmer nodded.

"Then, I took him to a flock of other eagles like him. I introduced him to the Playboy Playmate of eagles. But all he did was crow like a rooster."

The farmer again nodded. Then, he said, "You see, sir. That's what I was trying to tell you. I've been trying for years to get that eagle to stop being a chicken. I tried all of the same things you did and more. I took him to an eagle psychologist. I bought him subliminal eagle motivation tapes. I even shouted at him and threatened to leave him up in the mountains. Nothing I did worked. So, I decided I would just let him be a chicken until he decides to change."

I replied, "But what if never decides to change? What if he stays a chicken all his life?"

"Well, it would be sad," the farmer said. "It would a waste of his life. But, if that's what he wants to be, there's nothing I can do about it."

I came away disappointed, but I learned two valuable lessons:

I learned that you can't force a person to change. It doesn't matter whether you want that person to change. It doesn't matter if you need that person to change. A person will not change until he or she is ready to change.
If you want to make a change in your life, you have to motivate yourself. Don't look to others to force you to change.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


We all have or are going to encounter challenges in our lives. And our challenges come in various sizes at various seasons. The only people who are exempted from all these are those who are residing in a cemetery. In more simpler terms, those who have passed away. So, if you are alive know that one way or the other, you are going to encounter traffic lights of struggles, speed humps of disappointments, stop signs of betrayal, congested traffic of delays and road blocks of discouragements. But take note that if you don't give up you will end up arriving in your destination of success. After all you are the one who decides whether to be a loser or winner. This is echoed in the following poem; Winners versus losers.

The winner is always a part of the answer; the loser is always a part of the problem.
The winner always has a programme; the loser always has an excuse.
The winner says, "let me do it for you;"
The loser says,"thats not my job."
The winner sees an answer for every problem;
The loser sees a problem in every answer.
The winner says,"it may be difficult but it's possible,"
The loser says," it may be possible but it's too difficult."

The way to success

Hi everyone, hope all is well with you. I just want to share with you an inspirational poem that i believe will energize you in your pursuit of maintaining a positive attitude in a negative world. As you all know we need to take supplements for our minds. Enjoy. 1. The Way to Success

failure may outnumber success, failure is there to make you strong
failure may cause pain but nothing goes in vain
failure keeps you in touch with reality
failure gives wisdom
failure gives experience
cowards don’t fail
It’s for the brave who leave the shore to sail into unknown
failure is a stop in the journey of life, don’t stop at the bend
today’s failure would be tomorrow’s bigger success
failure is the cradle in which success rocks.
failure is not a sin
failure is the first step for success
failure teaches you how to succeed
failure always helps in your success
failure helps you from failing
if you fail, it’s not the end of the world
success will definitely be on your way
so will run away your failure
never forget your failure in life which helped you in your
SUCCESS (author unknown)