Don’t talk, just listen to what someone has to say without interrupting.. give the person your FULL attention until they have finished their sentence or their story.
I have to admit this was and still is a skill I am trying to master. Too often when someone is speaking, it jogs my memory of a similar situation, a funny little story or I can just relate in some way, and I jump in and say “me too! I had the same thing happen…” and then carry on with my story. This is just plain rude and the other person can be left feeling annoyed, hurt or that they just got run over by a train! It also means you believe your story is more important.
Often people even ask questions in order to bring the conversation back to themselves:
Person A: “Have you ever been to Vegas?”
Person B: “No”
Person A: “I went last week and it was great!”
It’s just self-serving.
You may have heard the term “think before you open your mouth”. Eckhart Tolle is fabulous at answering a question with serious reflection. Try to watch him on YouTube when he is asked a question from an audience member. He takes a moment, a long moment, to reply.
The same can be said for replying to emails or responding to something that has hurt you. When an email or a text message makes me upset or angry, I usually leave my response for a day and try to think how the situation came about.. was it me or them? I have to decide the best way to diffuse the incident. When I do reply, I don’t use the word “but”, e.g. I’m sorry if I offended you BUT”, which just changes your previous words, instead I use “I’m sorry if I offended you AND”.
I plan ways of resolving stress. I will be giving 52 free tips on YouTube soon. Each tip with give you advice on how to avoid burn out and can be accessed on my website. Planning includes, being aware of how you are feeling physically, i.e. are you gritting your teeth, frowning, is your stomach in a knot, is your heart racing? Then I look at how I am behaving: am I driving too fast, am I taking my anxiety or anger out on others?
After all that, I find out what works to put me in a good mood again. (52 Tips coming soon)
4. BE GRATEFUL
The singer, Jason Mraz talked about having an “attitude of gratitude”. Sometimes, we don’t feel very grateful but when you stop and look around you and then you look at poor nations and see what you have that others don’t, it can be an eyeopener.
Instead of a VISION BOARD at home, we have a GRATITUDE BOARD. It’s a big chalk board, constantly changing, and we go to it often to draw or write what we are grateful for. It makes you count your blessings and can make you a happier person.
It can take a lot to forgive someone and when you are in disagreement, emotions can run high. Eventually, you have to ask yourself where that feeling of revenge and anger is getting you. Is it your family who are the innocent bystanders and are being affected by your unwillingness to let go of your resentment? Your partner? Your friends? Your kids? Are you the victim of your own unwillingness to forgive because of the stress and energy it has taken to hold onto the past?
Forgiveness is extremely difficult, especially when you feel you are right but sometimes forgiveness is not about the person being forgiven, it’s about your own sanity and of those watching or hearing about your continued pain. Forgiving yourself can be the hardest and yet most satisfying achievement.
It;s not easy changing old habits but you can’t expect change in others when you are not will to do the same.