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Hang Out With People That Intimidate You, It Will Better You

Hang Out With People That Intimidate You, It Will Better You

Most of us have felt intimidated by other people at one time or another in our lives. As children or teens, we were often intimidated by bullies or the most popular kids in school. As we grow to adulthood, we can feel intimidated by many kinds of people, even when there is no direct threat to us. We may feel this way in the presence of people who are beautiful, charismatic, famous, or smart. People who intimidate us as adults are also likely to have power and influence. In these cases, the feeling of intimidation comes from experiencing these two things simultaneously:

  • An admiration of someone because they possess a trait or traits deemed desirable by you and or by society.
  • Feelings of inadequacy in that person’s presence because of your perceived lack of these desirable traits in yourself.

While your natural inclination might be to avoid such people, spending time with them can really help you grow personally and professionally. Here are 5 things you will learn by hanging out with them:

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1. You will learn to conquer fear

When you learn to act in spite of your fears, you learn courage. Try going up to someone you feel intimidated by and introduce yourself to them. What’s the worse that can happen? You might feel embarrassed for something you say. But did the world end? No, life will go on. It’s more likely that the interaction is more positive than you ever imagined. Most importantly, you learn to act and reach out to people even when you are afraid. You will gain an advantage over others by creating more opportunities to form relationships with potentially influential people.

2. You will learn that everyone is human

We can’t help but put the people we admire on pedestals. We treat them in such a way that we forget that they are human beings like the rest of us. They too may even have fears and times in their lives when they felt intimidated. Remembering our common human connection can be a powerful reminder that the person we feel intimidated by may be yearning to be treated like a normal human being, not a superhuman.

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3. You will learn that everyone has a story

When you learn to engage people you feel you have nothing in common with, you might be surprised to learn that their life story is similar in some ways to yours. How can you learn their story? Just ask. People love to talk about themselves when given the opportunity. Dale Carnegie, in his book “How To Win Friends and Influence People,” says “Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.” You may learn the story of how they came to be thought of as “intimidating.” You may even learn that they fall short in something that you have mastered. Learning their story will reduce feelings of inadequacy in their presence and improve your self esteem. If you truly listen to their story with interest, you will also win their admiration and respect.

4. You will learn new skills from them

People who excel often have acquired wisdom that we can all benefit from. Also, we tend to imitate the people we admire. If you want to learn how to “work a room”, spend time with a charismatic person. Learn what makes them attractive to others. It could be their warm smile, their positive attitude, or the captivating stories they tell. Ask them about what motivates them to stay positive when most people are not. You may learn some powerful insights that you can apply and benefit from in your own life.

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5. You will learn how to increase your confidence in dealing with people

The more you spend time with people that intimidate you, the more you will gain confidence in your ability to navigate personal interactions and relationships. You will learn how to approach and talk to all kinds of people. Indeed, if you can gain friendships with people that intimidate you, you can gain friendships with almost anyone. This will put you on a path of personal growth and personal and professional success.

So, what are you waiting for? Go hang out with that intimidating person in your life today.

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Featured photo credit: SEVENHEADS via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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