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Learn to Love Annoying People

Learn to Love Annoying People


    Unfriendly people.

    Bad drivers.

    Incompetent customer service reps.

    These are a few of my least favorite things. In fact, they’re downright annoying.

    Now, I’m normally known for my overly optimistic attitude and flashy smile. Hell, I write about happiness for a living. But encounters with irritating people are enough to turn this peppy rebel into a defensive, rage-filed driver who expects all call center responders are out to get me. It’s awkward and uncomfortable.

    But you get annoyed with other people, too.

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    (Yeah…I caught ya.)

    Remember that airline worker who wouldn’t put you on the flight you desired? Or the Wendy’s employee who always puts pickles on your sandwich even though you specifically asked them not to? I saw you pounding your steering wheel in a fit of rage as you tailgated that 90-year-old World War II veteran who was driving 10mph under the speed limit.

    Or wait, was that me?

    Either way, it’s pretty clear that other people have a way of getting under our skin.

    So we huff and we puff. We bitch and we moan. We yell at people for not doing what we expect them to do. Because you know that you’re right and that they’re wrong. You refuse to back down.

    But here’s the catch, darlin’…

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    All of that huffing and puffing? It’s not going to blow down their incompetently built house. Getting frustrated is not helping your case. It’s actually killing you.

    And it makes you look fat.

    Unfortunately, you cannot and will never be able to control the people around you.

    (I’ll give you a second to mourn the death of that idea.)

    Now…I do have some splendid news. There is one thing that you can always control: Your reaction to the situation.

    I bet that if you take the following advice, you may even find yourself empathizing with that evil airline employee whose life mission, it seemed, was to trap you in Fargo, North Dakota for the rest of your life.

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    So, the next time that you come across an annoying person, sit down, take a deep breath, and remind yourself of the following:

    1. Everyone has pain.
    2. Everyone has fear.
    3. Everyone has a dream.

    All anyone is ever trying to do is avoid the first two and accomplish the third.

    And if…

    …you consider other people’s hopes and dreams instead of stewing in angry frustration over something that they did, then you will undoubtedly want to help them.

    …you remember that everyone experiences pain, stress, and anxiety, then you might just feel less lonely and more connected.

    …you imagine what scares a person the most, then you will surely feel humbled.

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    …you read these 9 tips for dealing with difficult people, then you will feel armed and protected. (Number six is my favorite).

    Instead of adding fuel to the fire, let’s try to make the world a better place, shall we?

    Here are 9 super-simple things that you can do to brighten someone else’s day. Who knows? It might even brighten your own.

    1. Pay for someone’s coffee (c’mon, it’s a dollar).
    2. Leave your server an 80% tip.
    3. Tell someone that you are proud of their work.
    4. Hold the door open.
    5. Write an inspiring message on a piece of scrap paper and leave it on a table in a coffee shop or on someone’s windshield.
    6. Tell someone that they can go in front of you in line.
    7. Bake cookies for your neighbor.
    8. Send a birthday card to an old friend.
    9. Drop a dollar bill on the sidewalk.

    For more ideas, I suggest watching the movie, Amélie. And I also suggest reading this piece that shows you 10 small ways to make the world a better place.

    (Photo credit: Young Adult Woman and Man Holding Emoticons via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

    How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

    If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

    Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

    So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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    1. Listen

    Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

    2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

    Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

    “Why do you want to do that?”

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    “What makes you so excited about it?”

    “How long has that been your dream?”

    You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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    3. Encourage

    This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

    4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

    After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

    5. Dream

    This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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    6. Ask How You Can Help

    Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

    7. Follow Up

    Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

    Final Thoughts

    By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

    Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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    Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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