Tips for reacting better to everyone, from your home to the office.
written by Grant Stewart
We all experience challenging behaviors from the people around us. Science tells us we function mostly through stimulus/response. That means with each behavior, we respond based on our conditioning, not on our thought process. We simply react automatically, whether neutrally, positively, or negatively. When we fail to take control of our response to the stimulus of a challenging behavior, we automatically become a victim and get stuck in an emotional back eddy.
So how do we take back our free will and become victors instead of victims? The only sustainable way to change the behavior of others is to change our behavior towards them.
Try—and commit to—the following strategies for greater harmony in your relationships at home and at work:
- Don’t defend yourself by arguing back—it only fuels the fire.
- Don’t collapse your own personal and professional boundaries. Maintain a calm but committed position.
- Don’t enable the behavior by reacting the way the offender expects you to react.
- Try to understand the person. Are they anxious, bored, in pain?
- Watch for warning signs—their triggers.
- Remain calm to undermine the negative energy.
- Use pauses. This takes the oxygen away from the flame and automatically weakens the behavior.
- Slow down nonverbals. Others tend to mirror our behavior.
- Call them by name—it interrupts the negative energy and thought process.
- Ask questions. Questions interrupt behaviors.
- Maintain eye contact without aggression.
- Preserve your boundaries.
- Always remain calm.
READ MORE ARTICLES FROM WV LIVING HEALTHY’S 2022 ISSUE
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