Monthly Archives: September 2010

How to Deal with Angry People

Angry people are all around us and in our everyday lives. We come across angry people at work, while out in public places, and even at home. Sometimes a person is directly angry at us because of something we may have done or not done. At other times we are not the cause of a person’s anger but become the target of it.

Regardless if we are the cause of it or not we still find ourselves faced with dealing with it. What follows are some techniques to help with knowing how to deal with angry people.

1. Kill Anger With Kindness

One of the best ways of dealing with an angry person is not to take it personally and be nice to them, using kindness as you are talking to them. More times than not, words and acts of kindness heals anger like ointment on an open wound.

If the angry person is angry at you for something find out what it is and apologise for the offence in a genuine and sincere manner. But above all don’t indulge in the behavior. That is, don’t let their anger make you angry.

If you do it will be like throwing fuel on a burning flame and no one benefits when that happens.

2. Limit the Interaction

Some angry people actually look for a good fight sometimes. If you know an angry person who seems to be looking for a fight distance yourself from them as quickly as possible, especially if there is any mind altering substances involved.

Do not even try to rationalize with an angry person who is not sober. You will not win in defeating the anger of an intoxicated person and your attempts will only cause their anger to escalate.

3. Set Boundaries

Set boundaries, especially as regards to respect. However, be aware that if you want an angry person to respect you then you must first respect yourself.

Allowing people to walk all over you translates into a lack of self-respect and angry people are perceptive about who they chose as their target to lash out at.

If the angry person is a family member or friend let them know immediately that you will not tolerate being used as their whipping post. Grab onto self-respect and put your foot down firmly against misdirected anger.

4. Separate Yourself

Anger is a natural human emotion that we all experience from time to time. For example, a wife will become angry at her husband for not listening to her when she politely asked him to pick up a few things from the grocery store on his way home from work.

In this situation her anger would be justified because she had expected him to do something she asked of him.

However, if you have a family member or friend who is consistently behaving angrily, no matter what you do or don’t do, then it may be wise to separate yourself from that person permanently, or at least until they can get some help and a grip on their behavior.

Allowing yourself to remain around negative and hostile people will only harm you. Angry and negative people do nothing but create angry and negative situations for themselves and the people around them.

How to deal with angry people will largely depend on your relationship with them. You can walk away from an angry person you ran into at the grocery store. It becomes a little more complicated when dealing with an angry family member or friend. The most point, however, is to have self-respect and not let angry people use you as their target for unwarranted anger.

How To Be Less Awkward Around People

Believe it or not most people feel awkward around other people at one time or another. There are so many things that can cause anyone of us to experience this feeling. And that’s exactly what awkwardness is: a feeling.

You may think you are awkward because you spilled that drink down the front of your shirt or tripped over your untied shoelace, but that may not be how others perceive you.

This brings us to the most important point of how to be less awkward around other people.

1. Stop thinking of yourself as being awkward

Instead think confidently of yourself and when that drink does dribble down your shirt have fun with it by saying something like “there must be a hole in my lip”. Reacting to a blunder by laughing at yourself can actually turn an embarrassing, awkward moment into a conversational icebreaker.

2. Assume Rapport

Assuming rapport is about thinking how good a meeting or conversation will go rather than thinking of any negative possibilities. Assuming rapport will help you to relax and not worry so much about how you might fail but more about just having a conversation.

To assume rapport, approach the interaction like you would if you were going to talk to a good friend.

3. First Impressions

Having a good mental attitude from the beginning of an interaction will result in you making a good first impression on people. Regardless of how awkward you might feel inside, smile when first meeting someone and then slowly ease yourself into talking with them. That is, do a lot of listening to find out what the other person’s interests are.

Also, make short statements to ease yourself into further dialog. An awkward person should never just start rambling about anything under the sun because this will only worsen the awkward feeling and maybe even cause you to feel like you are stupid, neither of which will help you to be less awkward around people.

4. Be Yourself

When you are around friends you generally don’t worry about what to say next, but usually live in the moment, letting the interaction take a life of its own. This is the moment when you are relaxed and yourself.

This same idea can be applied as a strategy to help you be less awkward around people. Moreover, when you are being yourself you are more apt to enjoy any interaction that you might become involved with. Also, think of each interaction as an adventure of discovery because that is exactly what it is and not a means to expose you as being an awkward individual.

Remember, being awkward is a mindset, a thought process, but it’s not something you are.

5. Have Confidence

Being yourself entails having confidence in yourself and your abilities. People who think they are awkward lack confidence in themselves so much that they think people think of them like they think of themselves.

Does it really matter what other people think about you? No. So why should you focus on what people might think? It’s actually vanity if you do.

Instead, focus on the fact that you are a human being just like everyone else, each with their own idiosyncrasies as well as desirable qualities.

How to be less awkward around people is more about your thinking than it is anything else. Everyone has made silly blunders in their interactions with others at one time or other. Read the newspapers and see that even important and famous personalities can sometimes be awkward. But this doesn’t stop them from being who they are or cause them to develop a complex about interacting with others. It should not affect you this way, either.

Mastering The Art Of The Approach

What is the best way to approach someone and start a conversation? That is the big question I am asked again and again. Sometimes people ask me to provide a script that will always work and in every situation.

I`m sorry I don`t have a magic wand that can grant you this wish. I can however share some fundamental principles that do work every single time. Once you have mastered these fundamentals you will be relaxed and creative enough to start a conversation with ease even with a wide range of different people.

These fundamentals are what I discovered after years of trial and error followed by fascinating times observing and learning from true masters – those people who can happily approach anyone with a big smile without a moments hesitation.

Mastering The Art Of The Approach

1. Decide to like people

Unless people give you a reason not to, assume that anyone you meet is likeable and worth talking to. Popular people genuinely love meeting people. They enjoy getting to know new people and their default setting is that “I love meeting people”.

Very often shy people assume others do now want to talk to them or that they will be criticised when they share their thoughts and feelings. In other words shy people often paint such a negative picture of others that it becomes almost impossible to approach anyone.

Notice what is happening here. The reserved person is starting from a “I don`t like people in case they don`t like me” point of view. This negative outlook creates a barrier that stops anyone from starting a conversation – you or the other person.

Popular people start off with a very different outlook – “I like you unless you give me a reason not to like you!”

2. Know that your happiness does not depend on how someone else responds

Your happiness is entirely under your control. It does not depend on whether someone else is responsive to you. You might think you will feel terrible if people aren`t keen to get to know you. That is based on a false assumption – you assume happiness is about what happens outside of you but its not. Whether you are happy or not is a question of how you think and feel and has nothing to do with the reactions of others unless you decide to live with that false belief.

If you approach someone and you get a negative response it can only mean two possibilities. Firstly, you need to improve your approach, and, secondly, that person is not interested in getting to know you right now in this moment. And that could be for many reasons that have nothing to do with who you are.

Decide that you are happy whether or not someone else is rude, having a bad day or too tired or hungry to spend time getting to know you. See that happiness starts with your attitude and is not dependent on the reaction of someone you have never meet before.

3. Know the response you want and adjust your approach until you get it

This follows on from the points above. Always be objective about how you are doing. Never take failure personally, never take set backs in a social setting as evidence that you are not worth talking to.

Imagine you are a neutral observer. What does this person see? What would he suggest to help you improve your approach? Notice what you are doing well and use that as the basis for ongoing improvement.

If you want people to smile and laugh and its not happening its time to change your approach. Objectively review what you have been doing and then find a role model if you still do not know a better way to get a positive reaction. Find someone who always has people smiling and laughing. Then view his approach as a step by step process to copy.

You can always observe popular people and notice what they are doing differently to you. Copy what works and you will do better when meeting people. And this is an objective reality and nothing personal – use an effective approach and you`ll be effective!

4. Forget about 100% success

When I first started getting much better at meeting people I had very high standards for how well I should do. And having a positive high expectations outlook is great. That is, as long as you know you will never hit perfection.

There is this fantasy in self help that you can discover the one key approach that works every single time in every single situation with no effort whatsoever on you part. If you get that you`ll enjoy 100% success while living in a state of bliss that never leaves you!

If this was true we would find evidence of it in the real world. Maybe if we looked at the lives of the most brilliant people to ever walk this earth we could learn this magical secret. Unfortunately the lives of the great leaders, creatives and geniuses of the past show us that not even they enjoyed 100% success.

That`s why I`m saying to you to forget about 100% success. Aim to always improve and to enjoy seeing how good you can get but forget about hitting 100%. This attitude of always improving without demanding perfection means you are under much less pressure when you approach and meet people. Less pressure means less tension and so you know you`ll do a better job.

Finally, if your goal is to do your best and to improve you know you will succeed in learning something. See how a change in attitude means you can`t go wrong approaching people – you either do great or you learn something that helps you become great.