Tag Archives: behaviour

And The Award For Most Boring Person Goes To..

Me, Me, Me!

One of my Face book friends commented after reading this recent  post

‘So many people are wrapped up in themselves, I often wonder what people know about me.  I’m a good listener but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like people to show an  interest in me. People are often all about – Me Me Me !’

I decided to give this some thought and look for the Positive Spin:

Are you listening to me? 

Why do so many people think it’s always about them?

I’m sure you can relate to this….

I’m at a social gathering. I don’t know many people but I start to engage the guy next to me in conversation. He tells me his name, what he does (see this post), and off he goes…. He talks about his amazing job, his amazing family, his amazing holiday and after 15 minutes or so he’s asked absolutely nothing about me. I try to edge away to find someone to have an actual conversation with. 

A conversation!

That’s where more than one person talks and where people listen to one another.

So what’s the issue here?

  • What’s the point of a conversation?

We have conversations because we want to get to know one another. To do that we must share information, ask questions, listen to one another. We must pass the ball around.

  • Conversation is a skill.

It’s not an easy skill to learn. It’s a bit like a game of tennis: the two people take it in turns to ‘serve’. While the other person is ‘serving’ we must focus on them completely. Sit still, don’t fidget, and listen carefully to what they’re saying. Try to pick up some mutual subjects or threads that you can serve back to them later, when it’s your turn. But try not to interrupt.

  • What if it’s never ‘my turn’?

Sometimes the conversation never gets off the ground: it’s a monologue. Not easy. What I try to do is listen for a pause, however small, and perhaps ask a question, or pick up one of the topics they mentioned and add a remark or two. Perhaps change your sitting position or even fidget a bit to alert them that you’re still there! I’ve even resorted to saying, ‘Your holiday toSouth Africa/Barbados/Bournemouth sounds fun. I went to Edinburgh for a trip last month. Let me tell you about the highlights.’ If they still don’t let you ‘have the ball’ you have to make an excuse and find someone else to talk to.

  • It’s natural, even though it’s bad manners and rude.

It’s natural for some people to believe that they are the most important person in the room.

It’s just the way they are used to behaving. They assume that everyone wants to hear what they have to say. They have been allowed to get away with it. They seem oblivious of the problem because no-one has made it clear enough that it’s annoying.

They won’t change their behaviour because we’ve let them carry on ‘carrying on’ and they remain unaware of how selfish and boring they are.

We have to show them that we don’t like it. If they don’t listen to us at all, if they don’t have a conversation with us, we need to move on to someone who does. And there will be lots of people who are interested in listening as well as talking.

Next time you are introduced to someone new make sure that you:

  • Listen with real interest
  • Make eye contact, for a few seconds
  • Ask a question
  • Use their name, to help you remember it!
  • Don’t interrupt
  • When it’s your turn, don’t deliver a monologue!
  • Remember how it feels when the other person isn’t interested in you and do as much as you can to show that you’re interested in them. (Even when they’re not Angelina Jolie  or George Clooney…)

How do you deal with the ‘Me,me,me’ types?

What’s your Top Tip for my Facebook commenter?

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Why You Must Rock That Boat To Make That Change

stress

‘It’s all too much!’ 

‘I don’t know where to start!’ 

I’ve been reading about stress and how to deal with it.

It’s so common.

Many of my clients have told me …

  • I think I’m hopeless.
  • My life is one big muddle.
  • I wake up everyday with a headache.
  • I’m overwhelmed.

I tell them: ‘You must rock the boat!’

Dr Phil writes in his book ‘Life Strategies’ that we are all accountable for what happens to us. And, yes! He’s talking about you too!

Here’s the thing …

You are not a victim. 

So what’s the solution?

How do you magic the stress away?

It’s time …

1.   Time to acknowledge your responsibility for your situation. 

You cannot blame others for where you are because …

  • You made the choices that led to the situation you find your self in.
  • You allowed the behaviour that you don’t like to continue.
  • You failed to take action.

2.   Time to sit down quietly and think about this…

If you could make one change in your daily life that would bring a smile to your face, what would it be?

One client said this:

‘I’ve never really focused on what I want to do. I don’t like to rock the boat.’

Well – just one problem –

if he doesn’t rock the boat, nothing will happen. Everything will stay the same… 

3.   Time to start rocking that boat.

Write down exactly what you want to change.

  • I want to be more consistent with my children. Result? Less stress
  • I want to stop commuting. Result? Less stress.
  • I want to feel valued in my work. Result? Less stress.
  • I want to go back to work now the children are at school. Result? Less stress.
  • I want to have less to do in my day. Result?  Less stress,
  • I want to say ‘no’ to having my in-laws for Easter Sunday lunch … again. Guess what? Less stress all round.

It’s time.

4.   Time to make a plan and rock that boat.

As soon as you do, the stress will begin to lift.

To sum up …

We are all responsible for where we are today, 

and … we are all responsible for where we’ll be tomorrow. 

‘You just can’t keep walking away. At some point you have to turn round and face life head on.’ 

Chris Cleave in his novel – ‘The Other Hand.’

 So …

Are you going to rock that boat? 

When? 

How? 

We want to know! 

Image courtesy of http://www.quidditchcanada.com/athletes-trick-beating-stress/

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Rant and Rave!

We had a row.

In the car-wash.

 

It was his first time and he didn’t want to seem foolish.

As if…

 

Half way through….the window leaked.

Badly.

Water streamed in, soaking him.

I wanted to laugh…

But I sensed it wasn’t the moment…

 

He ranted and raved, at the world, the car, the car wash guy, you name it….

Over on Jean’s Virgin Blogger Notes I’d read about Ranting and Raving.

And how we all need to do it.

It’s good for us.

 

My poor OH was mortified at his behaviour afterwards, was full of apologies.

But I was pleased that it happened.

Why?

Because it wasn’t about the car wash, or the world, or anything in particular.

It was a sign.

Of stress.

 

We talked about it (thankfully he will talk about sensitive stuff) and he’ll make an appointment to see our Dr to talk to him.

He may prescribe something, he may not,but at least we realised that such an outburst was only a sign.

And we took notice….

 

Don’t be afraid to confront your weaknesses, your fears, your perceived inadequacies.

They could be a sign….

that you need the confidence to sort something out.

After all…. no-one’s perfect

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You Choose…

‘Learn how to choose better so you can have better’

Dr Phil McGraw

Yesterday I wrote about the lady addicted to Psychics. She was afraid to make her own choices. She allowed others to make them for her.

In his book, ‘Life Strategies’, Dr Phil writes about Choices. When I first read it, I found it hard to believe but experience has shown me that he’s right. We are all responsible for what happens to us.

 

‘And the Oscar goes to…’

We all know someone who plays the ‘Victim’, don’t we?

‘He ruined my life’ she says…

No!

You allowed him to ruin your life.

‘My boss is so mean to me’ he says.

Is he? And whose responsibility is that? Don’t let him.

If you choose to overlook the behaviour then he’ll carry on being mean to you.

 

‘My elderly mother always gets her own way’, she says.

Why?

Because you choose to let her get her own way.

 

Dr Phil writes that we are indeed responsible for our lives. Responsible, not to blame.

What are you choosing to do in your life that you’d like to stop doing?

 

Tomorrow I’ll write about 

why we avoid making different choices.

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Caution: May Cause Confidence!

Is this you?

  • ‘I never speak my mind…’
  • ‘I don’t want to rock the boat but…’
  • ‘There’s nothing I can say…’

No-one likes to rock the boat.

We don’t want to upset our friends or family. But sometimes we want them to change their behaviour.

You must read this – it’s amazing!

 

What do we do?

We… say nothing. Because it’s easier. And not scary.

Except it’s not, because we still have to stand by and watch/listen to behaviour that we don’t like.

A client of mine had this problem –

‘One of my friends always puts her husband down when I’m there. She’s really rude to him and he lets her. It’s very embarrassing. I try to laugh it off but it’s not funny. I don’t know how to deal with it.’

 

Our conversation went like this.

What do you want to happen?

I suppose I want her to stop doing it in front of me.

What can you do about it do you think?

I wish I knew. I’d like her to stop. I don’t think she realises how difficult it is for me. She does it all the time.

The problem is, so long as you do nothing, nothing will change. What COULD you do?

I’d like to talk to her but I’m frightened she’ll get upset with me.

Let’s think about what you could say.

My client wrote down some ideas and together we planned exactly what she would say next time it happened –

‘I understand that you get frustrated and annoyed with John. But I feel very awkward when you shout at him when I’m there. Please don’t be offended but the only way I can deal with it is to politely leave and come back another time.

I have been worried about this for some time. I’m glad we’ve been able to sort it out.’

She practised at home, by herself, until she felt ready to speak up with confidence, without getting flustered.

I’m pleased to say that she was brave, stepped out of her safe comfort zone and spoke to her friend. They went on to talk about the whole situation and the problem began to be solved.

I’m not suggesting for one moment that speaking your mind with confidence is easy. Of course it’s not. But with practise it does get easier.

 

 

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6th Thing To Stop…and Keep Your Confidence Habit

6. Stop Putting Up With It! 

Does this sound familiar?   

  • ‘I know he doesn’t mean it really…’
  • ‘It’s just the way he is…’
  • It doesn’t matter…’

Yes! It DOES!   

 Imagine the scenario –   

Karen’s mother-in-law is very dominant.   

Every June she organises a big family BBQ.   

Karen hates very minute.   

Why?

  • because her MIL lives 90 minutes drive away
  • Karen always agrees to be the driver so her OH can have a few drinks
  • Karen feels she has nothing in common with most of the guests
  • She feels forced into a ‘straight jacket’ of obligation

So… what can she do?   

I asked Karen what she wanted to do. She said she wanted to stop going to these occasions but felt she ought to or it would look rude.   

We made a plan –   

KAREN’S PLAN               

  1. Decide what she wants to do.
  2. Discuss it with her OH and explain exactly how she feels.
  3. Decide to write, e:mail or phone her MIL to say ‘no’ to the invitation.
  4. If necessary she could say she was double booked.
  5. Wait… for the sky to fall in!

RESULT?   

Karen couldn’t believe how relieved she felt as soon as she’d taken positive action.   

And… guess what!  The Sky Stayed Put!   

TODAY’S TASK   

  • Think about what you are putting up with.
  • Choose the least daunting area.
  • Decide to talk to/write/e:mail the person concerned
  • Tell them what you want to happen. Describe their behaviour but don’t blame. eg I feel sad when you…   I would like you to…
  • End on a positive note, eg I feel so much better now we’ve discussed this… I’m so glad we found time to talk…

‘If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.’    Morris West

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Choose the Behaviour-Choose the Result

‘Maximun fine of £1000… Notice of intended prosecution…’

OMG!  Surely this wasn’t meant for me?  I blustered and flustered…

and then I sat down and read the letter slowly.

It was meant for me.  

I was responsible.

 I’d exceeded the speed limit.

And now I had to take responsibility and pay up.

I love this book.  If you read no other ‘Self help’ book, please give it a try.

It’s by Dr Phil McGraw. In Chapter 6, ‘Life Rewards Action’, he says –

‘When you choose the behaviour you choose the consequences.’

I chose to go too fast in a 30 mph limit.

So… I chose the consequences.  I got a fine.

I’ve learnt from this.  I will be very vigilant about speed limits from now on… honest, gov!

Ok.  You’ve chosen your goal.  It’s simple and it’s going to feel like you won the lottery when you achieve it.

Now… what actions are you going to take to make it happen?

‘The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.’  Walter Bagehot

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