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March 30, 2012 / Dale Melchin

Dealing with those at variance… with YOU!

I must confess, I’m not a very patient person.  I am more patient than I used to be, but I still need lots of work.

As a result I have the tendency to indulge my fight or flight response when confronted with someone who has a different point of view.  Now as I said, this is a tendency, and I’m not as bad as I used to be, but the urge to take “wrong” individuals to the mat is still there, and I think it is in all of us.  If you disagree just look at the polarization of politics lately and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Here are some keys that I have found to help me tone down the rhetoric in my own life.

  1.  Unless the person is just blindly following another person’s point of view, they probably came by there opinion’s honestly.  Regardless of how those ideas have played out in other areas such as politics.  I know that I need to respect that other person’s dignity as a human being, even if I disagree with how they think.
  2. Compassion.  Some people can be downright annoying, especially negative people, or people who are self-destructive or vie for attention.  However, the key to combating this annoyance is compassion.  At some point, someone did something to them to get them to be that way whether it was through abuse or the parents simply passed on their bad habits to their children.  Compassion does not absolve the person of responsibility, but it makes you realize that those people are victims, and that they may not even be aware of what they are doing to cause problems to you or to others.
  3. Recognizing that everyone is different.  As much as I hate to admit it.  Life would be pretty boring if everyone were the same.  We all have different strengths and weaknesses, but that is what makes humanity so great.  It creates the opportunity for people to work together.  I am a systematic creative.  I can go from high level down to technical very easily, but I have a tendency to get lost in the parts and fail to see the whole picture at times.  People like my friend Dallon can help me to see things from a different way.  Or someone who has fought their way out of poverty (coworker who will remain unnamed) can help me see things differently.
  4. Some people just aren’t ready to change… and NEVER will be.  This is a sad fact of life.  You can throw all of the success formulas you want at people, show them how simple it is to take care of business, yet… they don’t change.  This is where having a variety of tools in your interpersonal toolbox can help manage this insane reality.  Fight or flight and reasoning are the popular favorites of most people.  I’m not going to elaborate on the other interaction tools at this point, but they are out there.  It is a matter of changing habits in order to integrate them into your own way of being.  Sometimes they change, sometimes, you have to leave people to their own devices before they learn.  Sad fact.

If you integrate these four keys into dealing with people who are at variance with you, life becomes more tolerable because you are in control of your attitude and not those in your external environment.

Cheers!

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