Monday, December 27, 2004

Who Are You?

Throughout my life I have had to deal with many different types of personalities. As such, I think over the years I have developed the ability to see people beyond their surface attitudes. In a sense, I “don't judge a book by its cover”.

Stereotypically speaking, there are some folks from New York City who have an abrasive personality. I have had to work with such a person and got to know him very well.

My boss, had the impression that this person was a terrible worker, mostly based on his minor exposure to him at one point or another. I can't even begin to tell you what I went through to defend this worker when it came time to write his review. I was challenged by my boss time and again on my position. This employee was one of my best workers, but he did come across a bit rough at times, with him, I would merely “consider the source”.

I know people with an outward demeanor of being an ass. Some of these same people would be the first to lend a hand when you are in need, and do whatever they could to help. Buried within them is also the love for other people that is so strong, they try not to let it show so as not to ruin their tough personality.

When you get into a fight with someone, whether it be a friend or family member, remember the adage that “it takes two to tango”. If someone always makes comments that seem like little digs here and there, my bet is that this is how they are to everyone. These little comments are how they deal with life.

Taking what someone says too personally is a bad way to go through life. I am going to fill this article with cliché's, because they just seem to fit. In fact, so many of these obvious remarks fit so well because they are common mistakes that people make when dealing with one another.

If someone makes comments about you that are not a blatant attack on you, let them roll off of you “like water off a duck”. Remember, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. Do these sound silly yet? Think about your actions toward others who you think are hurting you with their words.

I always thought that people who used the, “your mother...” offensive tactic were ignorant. You can say anything you want about my mother and I will not get upset. First of all, because you don't know my mother, and second because I know you are using this tactic just to anger me. Sorry, but you're not worth the effort. I do know my mother, and nothing your narrow mind can sum up to try to demean her can provoke me.

Speaking of my mother, let's look at family members for a bit.

This can apply to the family you grew up with, or perhaps even your spouse, siblings or children. Chances are you have lived with these people for a very long time. It's a normal thing for people who live together for long periods of time to get on each other's nerves. Accepting this fact is half the battle.

There will always be arguments and issues within a family unit. The trick to dealing with these is simple. “If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Told you I was going to use a lot of cliché's.

If someone in your family “gets on your nerves”, or “rubs you the wrong way”, go someplace else and calm down. If it's just a verbal disagreement my advice to you, as the bigger person, would be to get over it. A weak-willed person will dwell on such an issue and work themselves into such a tizzy that they get angrier and angrier. This is not the way to deal with this.

After you have got away from the ugly scene, think about how strong you are an how secure you are in who you are and how you look at life. After all, you know who you are, you look in the mirror every day and know that you are a strong and independent person, and that no amount of words uttered by another person can affect that.

Once you have regained your sense of self, think about the person who is so sad that they need to make comments like that to others just to give themselves an ego boost. This is probably not their fault, it is their personality that has grown on them as they have matured.

In reality, your personality probably drives others nuts as well. I know my own personality is not without flaws. I'm just thankful that those I deal with at work and in my family have learned to accept me for who I am, flaws and all.

Now think about who the person you have issues with are as a person. Does this person give you gifts, send you cards, show up to important events in your life? If the answer is yes, chances are they love you very much, they just have trouble with their own personalities. If this is the case, then there is no need to begin a war with these folks, because it will become a futile battle. They can no more change who they are then you can.

This is where your inner strength must win out. You know they cannot change their personality for you, and you now understand that they truly care for you, they just have trouble expressing themselves properly. Don't fall into the trap of becoming so wrapped up in your own emotions about the pettiness of others, that you can't find your way back to them.

Be the stronger person. “Swallow your pride” and apologize, or take the first step in healing old wounds. “Consider the source”, then after that, accept that the source is flawed and work to help repair the damage that has occurred between you and the other person.

There is no honor in sticking to your anger and possibly destroying a relationship any further. Doing this allows the flaw in others to trigger a flaw in yourself. Holding onto anger, and letting it smolder inside of you is a flaw that needs to be worked out of your personality. If you are experiencing this, it is a tough road to haul, but it can be done.

This is a common problem with many marriages. For some reason one spouse or the other, or perhaps both, try to change the other. I'll step out on another stereotypical limb here, but it does seem like women try to change men in many cases. I have some advice for you women who are struggling with this now.

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE YOUR MAN. It won't happen, ever!

Do not get married with the thought that after marriage you will somehow be able to train your partner to do tricks only you want them to do. If you have problems with them before marriage that you don't think you will be able to tolerate, don't marry that person!

Can you tell me that you have never uttered a hurtful word to someone else? Even unknowingly, because of your own personality, you may have hurt someone else. This brings us to, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Can a bible verse be a cliché? I think they qualify. And don't go abusing me for getting the verses wrong, I'm pulling these out of my faulty brain, not researching sacred biblical documents here.

One last cliché before I end this. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Regardless of how others treat you, stay strong and self confident. When you're strong, nobody can lead you down the path to anger unless you allow them to. If you find yourself angry already, only you can pull yourself back out.

Nobody affects you like you affect yourself. In short, if you have a bad relationship with someone, it's always your own fault whether you choose to admit this or not.

Stop whining. Stand up straight, march right over to the person you're having a disagreement with and say, “I'm sorry.”

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