When you have a conflict with someone most people advise you to have a talk with them and let them know what they are doing is bothering you. And I think this leads to us being mislead to believe that once we tell someone what is bothering us they are going to stop. This is not always the case. So what do you do when they don’t stop and continue with their behavior?
Do you talk to them again?
Do you assume it’s personal and they are doing this intentionally?
Do you use this as a lesson to never speak up for yourself again because it won’t matter?
What category do you fall into?
It’s true that unfortunately just because you alert someone to behavior that goes against your values doesn’t mean they are going to change it. At that point, you have a choice to either accept who they are and move on or delete them from your life. But what happens when you want to delete them from your life but you don’t see how because they are a family member or a coworker. Ugh! How do you get rid of them? Chances are you are not going to. In that case, attempt to see them as a lesson for you.
You can’t change people if they don’t want to be changed. You wouldn’t want anyone to change you if you like who you are and you don’t have to. Your next move is to change the way you respond to them. Because at the end of the day, the only one you can control is you. And this is going to take some work because it’s not going to happen overnight but it’s important that you are clear on what it is they do that pushes your buttons and why it bothers you. It seems simple but having clarity around this will make you feel more in control when you can identify what is happening while it is happening.
Your stellar assignment
- Narrow your list of people who annoy you to one person for this exercise.
- What is it they do that either hurts, annoys or angers you?
- What do you usually do when this happens? (i.e. shut down, run away, ignore, yell back, etc.)
- Why does their behavior elicit this response from you? (How are you interpreting this as an attack on you?)
- What can you do to start lessening the impact of their behavior so it no longer affects yours? (walk away, take a breathe, slap’em (kidding, don’t do that!), or learn to reframe how you are hearing or understanding their behavior) Example: Instead of thinking they are personally attacking you, you could try to put yourself in their shoes and see it from their point of view, or you could ask them what they mean when they say or do whatever.)