Being sensitive to other people is a huge asset when doing business, yet if you go to the extreme of avoiding conflict in order to avoid upsetting people you’re letting another kind of fear derail how you handle your business.
What you should do, and what someone’s response is going to be are two very different issues.
When you tend to avoid disappointing people or making them angry, you’re blinding yourself to other people’s negative character issues.
“I don’t want to hurt his feelings”
One barrier we face when confronting other people is the guilt we can feel. Despite making a decision that we know deep down is right for us, the fear of someone else’s reaction makes us step back and ask if we really want to make the decision.
The guilt can be self inflicted as we spend too much of our time fretting over the other person’s reaction. Or it could be guilt we take on after repeated emotional manipulation as we allow someone else’s lack of emotional maturity to control us.
The thing to remember about trying to appease controlling people is that they become controlling as soon as we acquiesce to what they want us to do or not do. It’s our reaction to the other person that creates a controlling person. And we train them to know exactly how to get what they want out of you while ignoring your needs.
You rarely see responsible people get angry and attack simply because they don’t get what they want. But irresponsible people will get mad when they hear the word “no.”
The difference between hurt and harm
Many things in life hurt us, with the majority of them being our feelings. And in hurting “feelings,” what we’re really talking about are our egos. During the hurt, we have to put our egos in check and take an honest look at what’s not working in our lives.
Hurt, like a shot or surgery, gives us some discomfort but it does not really injure or harm us.
Harm, on the other hand, is when we truly injure someone else by doing destructive things. We don’t harm someone else when we make a decision to do something that is right for us but pains or offends them.
How to handle irresponsible people
When delivering bad news to an irresponsible person, the key is to refuse to return the anger. Emotionally mature people give empathy and sensitivity, more than they’re given. Instead of being reactive, they listen and do not give in.
If refusing to not give in means cutting off communication, so be it.
If you can, before you confront the other person, try to foresee how they will react, and plan a strategy of how you will react to them, whether it’s listening, remaining calm or leaving the scene. Being strategic has nothing to do with fearing the other person, merely making sure you are prepared.
When you’re dreading an upcoming confrontation, look at the people you’re dealing with. If kind, responsible and honest people are upset with you, take a second look at the choices you’re making. But if controlling, manipulative, hot and cold running and irresponsible people are upset with you, you’re probably doing the right thing.
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