I talk to many, many people every week in different settings – the business clients I work with, writers and reviewers, my hypnosis clients and many more. It’s often the case that when they hear my ideas, or about the work I do, they struggle to understand how to apply it. “What if someone cuts me in line? I shouldn’t care about that?” says one. Another might say, “My neighbor never says ‘hello’ when I speak to her, I think she is rude and you can’t tell me otherwise.” And still another might say, “You don’t know my mother-in-law. You can say all of these things about how to get along with others but you just don’t know her!”
The truth is that we will continue to encounter people we might label as “difficult people,” people we view as “rude” or “mean” in our daily lives. Hearing the five secrets to human behavior and trying to apply them won’t remove everyone who has ever irritated you, that’s for certain.
However, in our day-to-day dealings we do need to realize that we have choices. Ultimately we are looking through the filter called “ME!” and that filter is colored with our own view of what’s right and wrong. An annoying person in one venue could be a perfectly nice, easy-to-get-along-with person in another. A person who seems “rude” one day by cutting in line might be going through some difficulty and not be paying as much attention as they should.
I remember once, years and years ago, I had been quite ill and was just out of the hospital. It was a big deal for me the first time I went back into a supermarket to shop – I was so tired and dizzy, and actually a bit overwhelmed by the process. I was standing in the middle of an aisle just trying to get my bearings when a couple came up behind me. “What an idiot,” she said to him. “She is just standing in the aisle blocking our way – talk about rude!” At the time it really struck me how little we know about what’s going on with someone else and why they do what they do.
Was I annoying to these people? Obviously, yes. Was I a “rude idiot”? No, just someone who was recovering from an illness and having a difficult time of it. So maybe your mother-in-law is hard to get along with, but maybe she simply doesn’t know another way to get attention – so she tries to get it by behaving negatively. Or maybe she really IS just not that nice. So what – it doesn’t have to ruin your day and you really do have choices about how to respond to her.