Benjamin Franklin offered this advice that not only reduces stress from disappointments but increases effectiveness: “Present your thoughts not as ultimatums but as suggestions to be considered.”
He wrote that he made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions of others and all assertions of his own. He even forbade himself the use of any word or expression that gave an opinion, such as “certainly’’ and “undoubtedly.” Instead he used expressions such as, “I conceive,” and “I imagine” a thing to be so and so.
When someone asserted something that Franklin thought to be in error or wrong, he denied himself the pleasure of contradicting the person even though he knew he was right.
Attempts to control often lead to counterwill—the natural human tendency to resist being controlled. This leads to power struggle, which then lead to more resistance, reluctance, resentment, and even rebellion. Rebellion is NOT inevitability a function of development.
A man was walking down the street when he came upon three workers at a construction site. All of them were doing the same job. He asked the first worker what he was doing. The worker replied, “Breaking up these rocks.” The man then asked the second worker what he was doing. This worker said, “I’m earning a living.” The man then asked the third worker who responded, “I’m building a cathedral.” Clearly the third worker had a vision. He understood the larger significance of his work.
Dominating another person may feel good, but think of the effect it has on the other person—as well as on yourself. Just as no one likes to be told what to do, no one likes to be dominated. In addition, domination is a close cousin of stress because it raises a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
An old Chinese proverb says, “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
The questions, “Anything I can do?” or “I’ve had a similar experience and I can relate to your situation” can help you respond in a difficult situation with sensitivity, rather than with sarcasm and stress.
Even if you are not sure what is behind someone’s aggressive behavior, the few seconds it takes to pause can keep you from saying something you will regret. It will also prevent you from creating a stressful situation for yourself and the other person who is already stressed.
There have always been and always will be difficult people in the world. However, … >>>
There was once a navy jet pilot who was terrified at first when landing his aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
“Everything was in motion,” he said. “The ship was tossing up and down, the waves were moving, the airplane was moving, and trying to get it all to move together seemed impossible.”
An old pro gave the young pilot some advice that solved the problem. “There is a yellow marker in the center of the flight deck that always stays still,” the veteran told him. “Always line up the nose of the plane toward that mark and fly straight toward it.”
That’s pretty good advice for coping with stress. Always have a goal—a “mark” to work toward—and … >>>
Are you a perfectionist? Many people are. If you are...
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