Okay, I’m not an expert at this. But for Chapter 10 of Warm Cup of Wisdom, I interviewed some people who are better at it than I am. Here are the top 10 tips I culled from their insights.
- Realize: to this person, YOU are probably a difficult person. Examine why.
- Rather than avoiding conflict, find a non-threatening way to address the underlying issue. Tell the person “I need you to know how I felt when you…”
- Try to avoid controversial topics that bring up strong emotions. This does work for a short time but is super hard to do.
- Decide how much emotional energy you want to put into this relationship. If you don’t get a lot out of the friendship, perhaps you should end it. (Note: doesn’t work with relatives!)
- If someone criticizes you in a hurtful way, pretend you are surrounded by a clear plastic dome. You see the person and hear the comments, but they go “boing!” and bounce off. Don’t let them go into your heart.
- Find something you have in common and talk about that, instead of your differences. This will help you view him as a human being who just sees the world in a different way.
- Don’t get yourself entangled with controlling people. If you can’t get the person out of your mind, then he’s controlling you, even when you’re not speaking.
- Accept and care for yourself and realize what you need.
- Don’t go off by yourself and figure the whole thing out. Instead stay calm, adopt an attitude of curiosity, and ask the person what is making her feel the way she is – and try to really hear the answer.
- Focus on the person’s intentions. If you assume she has good intentions, you’ll be calmer in reacting to things that otherwise would annoy you.