Today, I would like to discuss how to destress yourself at work when you have to work with a challenging person, whether it is your boss or coworker.
Often times people talk about their stress at work caused by someone who is so very difficult. I worked with a group of women who had a very pain-provoking boss, who happen to be a woman also. They hired me to help them with the stressful situation.
I have worked with partners on the ambulance and some bosses who were the most difficult people in the world (well, in my eyes anyway). Looking back, I always thought of difficult people as a challenge, and I knew, with a little work on my part, I could handle them because I believe I can handle any challenge thrown my way.
Believe it or not, I had this one boss who would literally get in my face and threaten me. She would tell me that if I didn't do what she wanted me to do, she would kick my ars. YUP! True story. She was crazy. She was so crazy I couldn't do anything but laugh, and I gotta admit, that show did make it worse. It was funny because it was like a scene in a movie. She would be so loving and kind to everyone else, then turn around in my face, whisper the threat, and then turn around, laugh, and be playful with everyone else again. No one had a clue she was doing it, and that was part of what made it so funny.
Another person I worked with on the ambulance was just as crazy as the boss I just mentioned. This guy would taunt me every day, and all day long. Eventually, he began to threaten me physically, just like the boss.
Another person I worked with was a psycho chick from the mental institute. Just kidding, she wasn't really from the mental institute, but she sure did act like it.
Every single person I just mentioned, and with every difficult person I have worked with, I convinced myself that being able to cope with such difficult persons was my challenge. This was absolutely brilliant, to me, because I love, love, love a challenge. It was, and is, brilliant because it made it so much easier for me to go to work. Sure, there were days that I almost lost it, in my head, but it was better than losing it every day. Okay, okay, maybe I lost it a couple of times outside of my head, I am human.
Now, telling myself that this was a challenge was not the only thing I did, I also challenged myself to communicate better, have more patients, and be more understanding. They call this behavior professionalism. Some people may never advance if they do not become more appropriate and some people are never required to.
Communicating my needs, what is acceptable and professional versus unacceptable and unprofessional, appropriately made me a better person in my personal and professional life. Learning to be more patient, and more understanding has only advanced my abilities and skills as a person, personally and professionally.
Taking responsibility for myself is not only more acceptable behavior, it really does destress me. I cannot change others, and it is not my job to but, I can improve myself, which is part of life's lessons; making myself better and better at life. Stress is caused by how we react to things, and if we learn to react in a healthier way, for ourselves, then we certainly become a destress yourself expert.
If I allow my thoughts of negative individuals and experiences to consume me, I could be miserable. If we let experiences of getting upset dominate, we'd be getting irritated on a regular basis. This agitation brings regular unhappiness home and then every ounce of energy is drained by one's reactions. Behaviors like this are what make people very, very, very stressed out.
Do you see the difference? If I challenge myself and become better at handling the difficult, I am destressed, or if I let these difficult beings upset me, and consume my thoughts and energy, I am stressed.
You may be saying, "Ya, ya, ya Elizabeth, easy for you to say. You can do it but I cannot." And I say, "Blasphemy!" You can be, do, or have anything you set your mind to, you just have to set your mind. If you wanna know how to do that, read my last post on how to destress at work. I did not say it was going to be easy, but if you persuade yourself that it will be, it will.
At first, it was so hard for me to deal with some of these people but then, I just refused to let them run through my emotions. If you allow yourself to be consumed, and focused on the negative, whether it comes from a boss or a coworker (or anyone for that matter), then you are letting them run your life by default.
If you determine that you accept the challenge, and discipline yourself to change your reactions, you will be an even more amazing person by the desire of your own heart. It is up to you! And, I know, and you know, you can do it.
That's all I got for how to destress yourself at work with a challenging person...for now.
Have a lovely, lovely week.
Until next time... Have fun! Be playful! Seriously!