First, Determine If You’re a Difficult Person
Do you find that you’re the only one who has problems with a particular person — someone who everyone else seems to get along with? Or have you noticed that you have very few, if any, friends at work? Has anyone at work told you you’re annoying? Are you reading this job aid because your boss told you to?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ll have to consider that maybe you are the difficult person. It’s easy to blame conflicts on the other guy, but saying it’s the other person’s fault doesn’t necessarily make it so. Before you point your finger, you should take a look at yourself. Use the following strategies to determine if you’re the difficult person.
1. Evaluate your own actions and behaviors
Self-examination is always difficult, but it can be extremely worthwhile. Here are some of the areas in which you should evaluate yourself, and some points to keep in mind:
Ask yourself if you’re judgmental. Judging others is an easy way for you to feel superior. It also allows you to avoid examining yourself.
Has anyone ever told you that you never listen? When someone is speaking, do you interrupt, or do you change the subject and head off in another direction? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, quit talking and start listening.
How tolerant are you? If your viewpoint must be the only right one, you’re far too intolerant. People who are open to new ideas and different ways of doing things are generally happier and better liked than their counterparts.
A mature person thinks before he acts. Keep that e-mail one day before sending it, think about what you’re about to say before speaking in an angry tone, take deep breaths, count to 10, and consider your next move. You’ll reduce your stress level and the number of regrets you’ll have later. These aren’t the only areas in which you should evaluate yourself. However, they can provide a good starting point. Depending on your responses, you’ll find yourself asking additional questions that will help you clarify areas in which you’re difficult.
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