I’m OK – You’re not OK
5. Share a treat
Just because someone drives you nuts by clipping his nails in the morning is no reason to hate him all day long. Find some symbolic olive branch, and waive it around. Go get two chocolate bars and give him one. Bring in a bag of his favorite coffee. When we change our body language, accentuating the positive, rather than festering about “their problem,” the other person will likely respond in kind.
6. Extend trust
The reciprocal nature of trust says that you can improve people's trust in you by extending more trust to them. When we build a higher level of trust, the petty issues seem to melt away, because we are focused on what is good about the other person rather than idiosyncrasies that drive us bonkers. The best way to increase trust is to reinforce (rather than punish) people who are candid with us about our own shortcomings. To do this takes emotional intelligence, and it works wonders at improving relationships.
7. Don’t complain about others behind their back
Speak well of other people as much as possible. The old adage “if you cannot say something nice about someone don't say anything at all,” is good advice. When we gripe about others who are not present, a little of the venom always leaks out. Never make a joke about someone at his or her expense. If someone is doing something that really bothers you, simply tell the person about it in a kind way.
8. Stop acting like children
The lengths people go to in order to strike back at others for annoying them often resembles a food fight in grade school. Escalating e-mail notes in a kind of grenade battle is a great example of this phenomenon. It is easy to avoid these squabbles by not taking the bait. When you go back and forth with another person more than three times, it is time to change the mode of communication. Pick up the phone or walk down the hall for a chat.
9. Care about the other person
If we care enough to not fuss over little things, then we can tolerate inconveniences a lot better. What we get back from others is really a reflection of our own vibes. If we experience prickly and negative reactions from others, we need to check our attitude toward them. While it is convenient to blame others, often we are the root cause of the negativity: they are simply a mirror. The easiest way to care for others is to always follow the Golden Rule.
10. Have your own development plan
Start out each day with a few minutes of meditation on how to present yourself better to others. Have a list of behaviors you are trying to improve. This mindset crowds out some of the rotten attitudes that can lead you to undermine other's actions. We all have improvement opportunities.
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