How To Change The Way You Deal With Difficult People

Check out this fantastic post... the DIL rules in action, by non other the Dr Rick, from Dealing With Relatives.... I highly recommend this book!

by Dr. Rick Kirschner on June 19, 2009
Read the FULL article here.

"You just need an approach, a method, a process that you can use dependably. Here’s mine. I recommend this process to anyone struggling with difficult people, and have helped clients work their way through it on numerous occasions. It goes something like this:

1. What yanks your chains?

Identify what the behavioral triggers are that push your buttons and rattle your chains by reviewing past experiences in which your difficult person got to you. What did they do? That’s different than thinking about why it bothered you. Instead, just identify their actual behavior. Was it the way they talked to you? How did they talk to you? Was it the way they looked at you? How specifically did they look at you?

2. How do you react?
Do you blame them? Get mental? Distract yourself? Hide what’s going on? Try to fix it? When they do that thing they do, what is it that you do in response?

3. What do you want from you?
What’s the best you can bring to the situation, or the behavior or attitude you’d like to have that, regardless of what they did, you’d be delighted with yourself after the incident?

4. What do you want from them?
Don’t answer this one until you answered the previous one, or you’re likely to get a useless answer, like “I want them to stop doing that!” The point here is to take aim at something. What is the best you can hope for from the other person?

5. Find a role model or construct an idea of how to respond from scratch
Who do you know that knows how to deal with the person? How do they do it? And if you don’t know anyone, who do you know of that might know how to do it? (Fictional or real!) How might they do it?

6. Rehearse it by giving yourself a do-over of a past experience. Get a clear idea of how your role model walks and talks, what they say and how they say it, what they think and feel, and then try it on for size, find out (in the privacy of your mind) if it makes a difference in how you are and how your difficult person responds.

That’s it. Practice makes perfect. This is how we train our nervous systems to do something new in a familiar situation. I think that the key to positive change in ourselves when dealing with habitual (and often emotional) reactions to life not behaving as we wish it would, is pattern disruption.

Learn to do even ONE thing differently, and you change the entire pattern.

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