Personality Conflicts Once and For All
By Theresa Rose
Is there someone in your world who drives you absolutely
insane? Does this person’s voice sound like fingernails scraping
against a chalkboard? Do you find yourself running for cover
whenever he or she enters the room? Like most of us caught in
similar situations, you have undoubtedly wrestled with your negative
feelings for far too long, wasting precious time and energy.
Getting angry hasn’t helped, and ignoring the situation hasn’t
worked either. What can you do to resolve this unhealthy
personality conflict for good?
The biggest reason you and Joe Obnoxious can’t seem to find
your groove is a simple lack of awareness. (Note: Heretofore the
bane of your existence shall be referred to as Joe. If the object
of your scorn is a female, feel free to read ‘Jill’ where
applicable.) Sure, you are acutely aware of the silly, annoying or
rude choices Joe makes. In fact, it’s very likely you could rattle
off all of the inappropriate things Joe has said or done in minute
detail. However, the awareness needed to free you from Joe’s
clutches isn’t about his foibles; it’s about his humanity.
Here are a few helpful hints on how to see Joe in a new
light, thus transforming your ‘oil-and-water’ relationship into one
that resembles two peas in a pod.
drives you nuts.
Name those characteristics Joe possesses that make you want to pitch
a fit. Is he always late for meetings? Does he blame others for
his own mistakes? Does he think he is better than everyone else?
Is he a whiny-baby?
Look at his hidden
What would you guess terrifies Joe when he is in his quiet moments?
Is he afraid people don’t respect him? Is he afraid he may lose his
job and won’t be able to find another one? Does he think if he
doesn’t make a scene no one will notice him or care?
Admit where you
have done the same things.
Be honest with yourself and fess up to those times in the past where
you have acted in a similar fashion. Haven’t you ever been in a
funk and unable to meet commitments? Haven’t you found yourself
complaining about how tough your life is? Haven’t you made those
same poor choices Joe – and everyone else – has at some point?
(This is by far the toughest step. It requires a lot of
courage to admit where we have made boneheaded mistakes.)
Look at your own
What is it about
Joe’s choices that rankle you so? If you peek underneath your anger
and frustration, you will most likely find a little bit of your own
anxiety hiding there. Maybe Joe’s poor performance puts more
pressure on you, and you don’t think you’ll be able to handle the
workload. Maybe you believe that if Joe is more visible, popular or
appreciated than you are, then you will not be as valued in the eyes
of your teammates or employer.
While your personalities may be worlds apart, you and Joe share many
things in common. You both want to be successful. You both want to
be appreciated. You both have felt pain. You both experience fear
every once in a while. When it comes to the things that count, you
and Joe aren’t that different after all.
adversary through a new lens. When you become fully aware that underneath Joe’s obnoxious
choices lies a person who is struggling just like you are, those
things that used to drive you crazy will lose their power. You will
no longer see him as your enemy, but rather someone who deserves
your compassion and understanding.
Believe it or not, Joe did not always act this way. Like the
rest of us, Joe learned about proper behavior from the teachings he
received from his parents, teachers and many other fallible
sources. However, as children we often acted up when we didn’t
receive the attention we desired. As adults, we sometimes fall into
the same pattern. It is likely that your buddy Joe is a wounded
grown-up who simply doesn’t know any other way to operate.
When we act from
a place of compassion instead of judgment, our challenging
relationships magically shift from acrimony to harmony. We begin to
see ourselves in the other’s eyes, and our anger automatically melts
away. If you decide to employ these techniques, you will quickly
realize Joe isn’t out to get you or misbehaving to spite you. By
working to resolve the negative feelings within you, you will not
only improve the relationship, but you will also be healthier and
happier because of it. Joe may even start making better choices
when he doesn’t get the usual response he seeks. Won’t it feel
great to finally rid yourself of this emotional albatross you’ve
been carrying around?
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