Getting along with others takes practice. Whether you apply this to your work life or personal life, Donna Leskosek provides 11 easy ways to foster smooth relationships.
Over the years I’ve had to learn a few things about getting along with people. I have been blessed to have good people to learn them from, I really like people in general and in order to continue working with them, and hanging out with them I had to establish a few rules around how I must behave. Its taken me over 50 years to figure some of them out. I admit that Im not perfect and I slip up. Sometimes daily. I thought if I put them in writing maybe they will work for someone else, or maybe not. For clarification on this see number 11. Oh and I do know people usually have 10 but what the heck I am who I am.
1. I accept that I can’t control how anyone else behaves, I can only control how I react to their behavior. My reaction may change how they behave in the moment, and possibly in the future but that’s the extent of my power over anyone else. This applies to everyone from babies to old people. Once you accept this life becomes much simpler.
2. I realize that I never really know what’s really going on with other people. When people I casually encounter annoy me, I need to remember this. I don’t know what just happened in their lifes so if the clerk at the grocery store is distracted or the driver in front of me is driving too slow, I try not to take it personally. I am less aggravated, never have road rage and my blood pressure is great.
3. If I offer to do something to help someone out, I don’t complain about it afterwards. People who volunteer to babysit or dog sit or drive someone someplace and then go on about how it inconvenienced them are called martyrs or pains in the butt. I offer my help when helping makes me feel good.If doing something for another person turns me into a beast of burden no one really benefits. I would hate to have someone offer to do something for me and then gripe about it. See Rule number 4 for further clarification on this.
4. I give my best shot at following the golden rule. If it’s not something that I would want somebody to do to me then I don’t do it to anyone else. That seems really simple. If everyone followed it I think the world would be really happy….especially if we applied it to countries at war.
5. I try to remember that everybody has their own private crosses to bear. If I get to thinking the grass is greener on someone else’s side I try to look at the whole lawn. A neighbor might have a lot of toys but also the bills that go with them. The mom with the big paycheck might not get to hang out with her family as much as shed like to. If I start thinking everyone has it better than me, I try to count my blessings and look at the whole picture.
6. If there is something that I want done a certain way, I try to just do it myself. One of the things that makes me most crazy is organizing something for a bunch of people and having someone who didn’t participate in any of the organizing say they wished it had been done a different way. The only way to have a voice in how things are done is to use it. Wishing, whether using a magic wand, rubbing a magic lantern or clicking your heels together is not effective. I realize this might sound like Im contradicting number 3 but see number 7.
7. If I attend something I elected to have no hand in organizing, I do my best not to bellyache if it’s not the way I would have done it. I focus on the parts I do like and let the rest go. Life is too short to spend it complaining. If I know ahead of time I’m going to hate whatever the plan is – like say going hiking in the wilderness in December, or actually any month– I just decline the invite graciously. I know going along will not only make me miserable but impact everyone else’s pleasure too.
8. I believe most people really are just doing the best they can. Its usually true. No one sets out to screw up their lives or yours. If you give them half a chance maybe they can figure it out. If they can’t refer to number 1.
9. I try to listen as much as I talk. This can be a struggle I admit. I have a lot of stuff in my head, and I like to talk. I do try to remember that everyone has ideas, feelings and solutions.
10. I make an effort to tell people when they do something good. The only thing better than doing a good thing is knowing that someone thought it was good. It keeps people doing good things. We need as many good things as we can get. The other part of this is giving people credit for the work they have done or the idea they have had. There’s nothing worse than having someone steal your experience or idea to make it their own. Its like they plagiarized your life.
11. I try to be flexible. I don’t mean this in the sense of doing yoga. I figure that if I accept that I can do things my way and other people can do them their way, it’s all good as long as we end up in the right place I won’t end up being ridged and brittle and snapping in two.
And that’s it , 11 ways of getting through life that don’t involve huge time commitment, years of intense therapy or any actual physical exercise.
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