The one thing no one on this earth can get away from is relationships. There’s no getting away from people.
We see them at work. We speak to them at home. We interact with them at the store, at the bank, at church and all sorts of places. People are everywhere – unfortunately.
And, if you desire to thrive in this world we must enter relationships with other people.
Everyone has a relationship with someone. The appearance of a relationship does not mean that the relationship is indeed a good one, just to be clear. I would argue that many of us have poor relationships. Maybe poor relationships with co-workers or family members or even friends.
If you think that you have great relationships with everyone around you than stop reading. This is not for you.
For the people who know that in some aspect of their lives they have trouble dealing with people, let’s vent together.
It’s not easy.
I could imagine like me, you’ve said things to people that you wish that you could take back. There are probably things that people have said to you that you wish you could forget.
But the reality is that no one really taught us how to deal with people. Especially, that annoying co-worker who always has something to say about everything, or that critical family member that thinks everyone in the family should heed their advice at all times, or your significant other who you love so dearly but who gets on your last (very last) nerve.
But who can blame us, we’ve been forced to learn how to deal with people through our experiences with others, stories we’ve heard and advice we’ve received. And, if we’re honest, half of those experiences weren’t good ones, half of those stories had bad results, and some of the advice we’ve received was just terrible.
So how do we get past all of that so that we can start dealing with people the right way?
HERE’S THE SECRET
The secret to dealing with people is appreciation. Now, wait. Don’t brush this off without really thinking about it.
There is so much power in appreciation. I’ve tried it and I know it to be true.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.Dale Carnegie
In “How to Win Friends & Influence People,” a book that you should definitely read, the author Dale Carnegie points out, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
We don’t just want appreciation or desire appreciation we crave it. We search for it. We will go great lengths to receive it.
Similar to sweet tooth cravings. Personally, the minute I start craving chocolate chip cookies, I need them. And it takes everything within me to say, “not today,” which only happens sometimes. Most of the time I’ll make arrangements to either buy them or make them because I’m craving them that much. Yes, I know. Working on self-control.
Think about the things you crave and the things you do to satisfy those cravings.
Our need for appreciation is just like that. And if we begin to do more to show others that we appreciate them, we’d notice an immediate change in our professional and personal lives.
But to clarify, appreciation is not flattery. Appreciation is sincere, honest and selfless. Flattery is insincere, dishonest and selfish. Appreciation is not something you do to get something else. It’s a more genuine way to interact with others.
HOW TO USE THIS POWERFUL SECRET
Stop Being Impulsive
Impatience often breeds regret. Often times, we want to just get our emotions off of our chest so bad that we don’t think about how it would affect the other person. Simply recognizing that we respect or regard that person in our life can change the way we approach the situation.
How: The next time someone upsets you and you feel the need to let them know, write out the meanest, rudest text message or email and then don’t send it.
Once all of those frustrations are out of your system, take a step back and ask yourself, “What can I say instead that will get my point across without being rude, shady or spiteful?”
Believe the Best
See the best in people, always. Not just when it’s convenient or easy, do it all the time. Believing the best in other people isn’t for them, it’s for you. You’re the only person who really knows what you’re thinking anyway.
But, when you think good things about people, it takes away the stress that negative assumptions can add to your life and it allows you to address others positively.
Disclaimer: Often times, when you choose to see the best in others, they’ll still give you 100 reasons to see the worst in them. But when you make up your mind to see the best, you give that person an opportunity to express themselves in a way they wouldn’t have felt comfortable to do, If you were critical and offensive.
How: The next time you want to blurt out an assumption or complaint, ask a question instead. Ask the person how they are doing. Ask if they’ve been overwhelmed lately? See what’s going on with them, ask how you can help. You’ll be surprised what you discover.
Stop Holding Things In
At the very least, if you like something someone is doing tell them.
The other day I texted a friend, “I’m so happy we’re genuinely friends again.” It was so random, I hadn’t even spoken to her that day, but the thought came to my mind and I felt that I should tell her, so I did. Now, she doesn’t have to guess my thoughts towards her, she knows.
Stop making people guess how you feel about them. If someone offends you, it’s better to let them know in a polite and respectful way than to hold it in until you can’t take it anymore.
Ninety percent of people are trying their best. They are honestly doing the best that they think they can do, regardless of what you think.
Yes, you may think that they could be doing more, but whenever good things come to your mind about someone, tell them.
If you make it a habit to always say good things to people, the moment you have something less than positive to say, they will know without a doubt that your feedback is coming from a good place.
How: Take baby steps. The next time you see a stranger wearing an outfit you like, tell them. Don’t just think it to yourself.
Recently, I walked into a restaurant, saw a beautiful hostess and told her that she was so beautiful. She was shocked. Her response, “I don’t get that often.”
Moments later, after I had already sat down at my table, she walked up to me and told me that I made her day and that if I need anything I should let her know. Just the thought that I made her day, made my day! You never know the influence a simple compliment can have on someone else.
SO, MORAL OF THE STORY FOLKS
Life is hard, and people are annoying. (Cutthroat ending, I know.)
But at the end of the day, the way we interact with others is a reflection of our own character and has nothing to do with them. Yes, showing appreciation is much harder than blurting out the first thing that comes to mind when we’re upset and never saying anything when we’re happy.
But, like all hard things, it’s worth the effort. Especially, if you aspire to live in peace with others and if you want to positively impact those around you.