3 steps to getting along with people in these extraordinary times
Understanding the perspectives of others has become even more important in our challenging global situation as we all try to get along.
People are in a very different place right now. There's not a single person who hasn't been affected by the pandemic in some way. Even the most optimistic and resourceful among us are sometimes showing signs of it taking its toll.
And although there are countries that are beginning to ease restrictions, being so close and yet so far from 'normality' can often make it all seem harder somehow.
More than ever, those around us may be dealing with things that are not as obvious on the surface. They might be:
- Sad because of loss.
- Finding it hard to let go mentally of what they've missed out on over this past year.
- Exhausted from trying to carry on at home without a change of scene.
- Worried about socialising again.
- Anxious about what the future holds for their employment or education.
Perhaps someone might be rude to you or start an argument, or you might be frustrated by a person's habits, or their inability to complete their work. If you want to get along with those close to you, here are three ways to help you change how you respond next time some of that tension bubbles to the surface - whether in your home, work or family life.
1. Start noticing
When you get angry or upset with someone, what impact does that emotion have on you? How does it leave you feeling, and how helpful is it to you and your day? Does it get you what you ultimately want? Start checking in with your responses and how they affect you, irrespective of the outcome of an interaction.
2. Create a new habit
When you have become upset with someone, try putting yourself in their shoes. What might be going on in their lives to cause their words or behaviour? How do they experience the world differently from you?
Take a moment to see if you can appreciate what they're thinking, feeling and intending. You don't have to agree with it, just acknowledge it.
And then reflect on how your response might be affecting their feelings and situation, as well as your own.
3. Consider the win- win
Start thinking before you speak. Take a moment to see if you can seek a different response. This might not always be easy, but we do always have a choice. What would it be like for both of you if you took a step back? If you took away the need to win the argument or vent your frustration, and instead chose harmony, kindness, understanding, co-operation? How might it help you get what you really want overall, both in terms of the ongoing relationship, and the situation?
During these extraordinary times, we are all doing our best. Use these three steps to help you decide in advance how you would like to respond in challenging moments - and notice the difference it makes.
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