Posts tagged: conflict

How to escape the Drama Triangle


As everyone knows, conflict is an unavoidable part of any relationship. But do you ever feel like drama follows you everywhere you go? It can be frustrating (and tiring) to be trapped in unnecessary, overblown struggles on a regular basis, be it at work or at home.

But frequently having to deal with sagas doesn’t mean you’re cursed. Nor does it mean you’re weak or doomed to have dysfunctional relationships forever. You’re just caught in the Drama
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Say no in the best possible way


Do you say yes when you mean to say no?

Maybe you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. You’re afraid no one else will do it (or as well as you will). Or there are so many good options for someone else doing it that you can’t choose between them. That last one is especially true for us Wafflers.

Then the inevitable happens. Right after saying yes — or not saying no — you get overwhelmed, exhausted, stretched too thin. Even more requests pile up, and suddenly you just want to hide.

Though hiding works wonders at curing overwhelm, it shouldn’t be the only way to avoid saying yes to things you really don’t want to do.

Instead, there’s a way to say no without uttering the word, and that, with any luck, makes everyone happier in the process.  

Two things.

First, say thank you. When someone asks you to do something, what they
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How to use positivity to transform difficult holiday celebrations


The holidays can be tough. Sure, there’s pie and presents and fa la la la la, la la la la. But there are also difficult family dynamics, often left over from years gone by. Those dynamics can lead to upsetting conversations (and on the heels of an vitriolic election season, politics might put extra strain on your relationships). Sometimes, it might even feel like your whole family tripped head-over-heels into a time-traveling vortex as everyone slips into familiar roles: the overbearing parent, the constant screw-up, or the goody-two-shoes, to name a few.

But wait — don’t reach for that third glass of spiked eggnog just yet. There’s hope for this year.
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If I have to spend one more minute with this person, I might scream!


annoying coworker

We all have “that” person at work, that annoying coworker with an uncanny ability to get under our skin — even make the environment feel toxic. Whether it’s the office know-it-all or a passive-aggressive button-pusher, every interaction makes our blood boil.

Unfortunately, dodging them in the hallways or fantasizing that they’ll get fired only works for so long. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to face them. (Sound of sad trombone.)

The good news is, it’s possible to feel better. The harder news is, doing so is up to you. It’s not enough to behave impeccably despite someone acting horribly; your reactions to them are making you unhappy. So it’s time to change your reactions.

Here are six things you can do to keep “that person” from ruining your day
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6 ways to deal with an angry person


Angry

Stuck moment: Man, I hate it when she gets on a righteous anger rant. I never know what to say, and it’s such a waste of energy and time. She’s a great person otherwise, but I’m not sure it’s worth hanging out with her anymore.

* * *

Someone feels wronged, and we get to hear all about it. Uncomfortable!

A natural tendency is to say, “calm down.” Or explain the other side. Maybe we match her angry words with some of our own. Or remain silent. All human responses, but not all that effective. That’s because we’re not acknowledging how the angry person feels, which more than anything will help her calm down.

Think about it:

  • If we don’t appear to understand, we risk fueling the fire.
  • If we say nothing to avoid conflict, we risk allowing ourselves to be mistreated.
  • If we challenge her anger, we risk losing control of our emotions too.

The better we
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Are you too nice for your own good?


Too nice

Stuck moment: You know, he never even said “thank you.” I didn’t have to drop that off at his house for him. And this is like the third time I’ve done it this month. He’s being such a jerk, but I’m the one who ends up paying for it by being late for work.

* * *

The other day we heard something ring true on television, and it got us thinking. In the latest season of Orange Is the New Black (spoiler alert), we learn that assistant warden Caputo gave up his dream of being a musician to parent the child of another man. So he’s furious when the mother of the child decides to leave him. But here’s what she says:

“You can’t spend your whole life holding the door open for people and then being angry when they don’t thank you. Nobody asked you to hold the ****ing door!”

It’s a
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Does sticking to the rules get you stuck?


Stuck moment: I’ve lived in this building for eight years, and I like the place just the way it is. But now this idiot — who moved in, what, last week? — is campaigning to have the lobby redone. No, thank you. Everything is perfectly fine as it is. Why can’t people leave well enough alone?

*   *   *

We all like a sure thing. Sure things mean safety and comfort and confidence and success. But sometimes, when we hang on too tightly, we get stuck in a sneaky way.

It usually happens when someone challenges — intentionally or otherwise — the way we believe things should be. It hits us in the gut. Puts us off-kilter. Maybe even threatens our security. A chorus of “No! That’s wrong. That’s not how it’s supposed to be,” rings in our head. In our heart we wonder, “I’m following the rules, so why aren’t
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What goes wrong when you’re always right


What goes wrong when you're always right

Stuck Moment: His strategy is wrong, I just know it. But when I explain it to him, he doesn’t seem to want to hear it  — no matter how much I insist. I don’t understand why people won’t listen for their own good. It’s not my fault if I’m right.

*   *   *

Seeing things that others don’t can put us in an awkward place. We want — or need — to prove our point, and yet somehow this makes us the bad guy. And that just doesn’t compute: Being right = good, not bad, right?

Not always.

Yes, contribute to the conversation, but be mindful of how. We humans, after all, can be a prickly lot. And one red-hot button is when someone regularly tells us we’re wrong. We start to feel devalued. Perhaps unworthy. Definitely annoyed.

The consequence of being that righty-pants, no matter how good your intention, is that
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6 steps to defuse a drama queen and get your life back


"Difficulty is inevitable. Drama is a choice." —Anita Renfroe

Stuck moment: Oh no. She’s calling AGAIN. At midnight! I wonder what her freak-out is this time… More boyfriend drama? Her boss has a concern about her project proposal? That “weird” headache she had last week is back? I guess I better answer, or I’m in for a guilt-trip next time I see her.

* * *

Like many things in life, our relationship with drama is a cultural paradox.

When we’re safely on the sidelines, drama queens can be funny or fascinating. We breathlessly track the on-screen exploits of the Real Housewives. Look for outrage in sensationalized headlines. Eagerly tune into the weatherman’s promise of a storm of a lifetime. We’ve got no problem with hyperbole and hysteria — as long as it’s not in our backyard.

But plant these tribulations in our own lives, and it’s not nearly so much
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15 ways to zap your annoyance before it ruins your day


Irritated

Stuck moment: Hey, did you see that waiter just bump into me and not apologize? How rude! That loud group over there is making me crazy… And that woman — can’t she control her kids? I’ve been looking forward to this party so much, but now I’m so irritated that I can’t even enjoy being here.

* * *

It’s an awful feeling when self-control slips through your fingers. Your body floods with stress and irritation, and you feel like a smaller, pettier version of yourself — clouded by emotion and unpleasant to be around. And that unpleasantness can ripple outward, undermining relationships and affecting everyone’s mood.

Employing simple, mood-saving tactics to help you maintain your balance can make all the difference when dealing with everyday annoyances. Because, face it, annoying people are here to stay. (And sometimes, without intending to be, we can be annoying, too.) While you may not always be
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