“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” – Proverbs 4:23
Nearly every religion tells us that our beliefs determine our behavior. People, even during ancient times when these divine guidebooks were created knew that one’s life is a reflection of how they think. Nowadays, most of us would concur with the passage above. In fact, nearly every religion has a similar passage, demonstrating the uniformity around this belief.
How our thought process is developed is a truly complex topic. It can be simply stated that the process develops in accordance with a number of internal and external factors. As such, we develop various behaviors both positive and negative. People that go through difficult situations in life have their thought process impacted. In turn, this impacts the person’s behavior.
It is important to differentiate the behavior from the person. We believe that a person is greater than the sum of his or her parts. We also believe that pain is often expressed in the form of negative behavior. Further, it is important to understand that ignoring the entire person is not the answer. Instead, develop your inner strength by ignoring the behavior while doing something positive for the person – prayer, a smile, positive energy, etc.
Here are 7 negative behaviors of people that you should ignore, and how you can help them…
Human beings have a flair for the dramatic. We have a flair for the dramatic because drama is everywhere around us – TV, magazines, movies, news, radio, the internet…no matter the outlet, drama is likely to be present.
This overwhelming presence of drama being depicted has resulted in people becoming literally addicted to the behavior. This dramatic behavior is shown in a number of different ways in a number of different places. The co-worker that stirs up rumors, the friend that loves to gossip, the boss that demeans employees, even the spouse or significant other that feels argument is “healthy expression”.
Regardless of the source or severity, dramatic behavior is overwhelmingly negative. Instead of buying into this behavior when it’s directed towards you, conduct yourself with confidence and composure. The stronger the behavior, the more relaxed and positive you should be in response.
Be an example by communicating and expressing yourself peacefully. Don’t allow drama to negatively impact the person you know that you are.
There is only one person that knows your capabilities and what you can achieve – you. Any kind of behavior directed towards you that aims to demean these capabilities and what you intend to achieve should be resisted to the utmost.
Denying or opposing your ambition through naysaying behavior should be considered unacceptable. Never allow the negative and unsubstantiated claims of others to limit how you think about and approach your ambitions, goals and dreams.
This behavior manifests itself in other people’s opinions, presumptions, and other shunning words and actions about something you’re trying to accomplish. Simply put, never buy into this behavior.
Maybe you’ve been in this type of situation. It is important to look beyond this behavior and act confidently and positively in spite of it. Not only will you notice that your confidence is strengthened, but the guilty party will likely change their behavior as well.
Some people are always on the lookout for others that they can use to advance their agenda, whatever that may be, through whatever means possible. This is manipulative behavior in a nutshell.
People that attempt to manipulate often do so by playing on other people’s emotions. They generally don’t trust the logical capabilities of others and seek to “pull the wool over” their eyes. Truly a sad state, but this type of behavior exists.
There is no easy way to detect this behavior, but one way is to look at the person’s track record. Have they been caught in a lie with you or someone else? Do they have a generally negative attitude? Have they spread rumors or gossiped about someone? Do they display predominantly individualistic types of behaviors?
Generally, people that display manipulative behavior display these and other “red flags” that can potentially unveil their capability to manipulate. These individuals also have an egotistical streak, thinking that they are smarter and craftier than anyone else.
Be aware of manipulative behavior by remaining vigilant in your dealings with others. Remain positive and confident while sending positivity and encouragement to these types of individuals. This could be the difference in changing their perspective along with their behavior.
Refusing to listen to others opinion, being adamant that their ideas or desires are the most important, and refusing change are the defining characteristics of stubborn behavior. The truth is that we all display stubborn behavior at times. However, there are people that display this behavior at a magnitude that far exceeds the norm.
As with most other behavioral traits, stubbornness is developed through early negative experiences. Stubbornness can be acquired through a parent’s disposition, violations of trust, and other instabilities displayed throughout childhood.
Regardless of the unfortunate circumstances in which the behavior is acquired, stubbornness is difficult to deal with and comes in many forms – the co-worker that refuses to listen, the parent that constantly judges, or in others who refuse to give you the benefit of the doubt.
The solution is to simply be you around these individuals while directing positivity (in any form) towards them. Above all, don’t respond with any kind of stubborn behavior of your own. Instead, show that you are a trustworthy, compassionate, understanding individual who appreciates the positive things about them.
Impatience can be defined as (1) irritable behavior that results from delays or (2) a restless need for change and excitement. The display of impatient behavior is often tied into someone’s goals; specifically, anything that hinders or aggravates the person in active pursuit of these goals. These goals could range from getting ahead of you at the drive-thru to getting that promotion at work.
As with stubbornness, we all have the tendency to be impatient at times. However, there are some individuals that take impatience to the extreme. These individuals detest being held up at anytime, anywhere, for almost any reason.
Impatience is a trait that develops from early negative experiences, misunderstanding the nature of self and others, and a persistent sense of insecurity. The early negative experiences often happen during childhood. In many cases, the child was often barred from having a normal social experience resulting in a sense of “missing out”.
When dealing with an impatient person, it is important to understand how they “tick.” For example, these individuals prefer to be in control. When they are not in firm control, they become angry, annoyed and frustrated. The best way to deal with the behavior is to be polite but direct. Do not beat around the bush with impatient people; this will get you nowhere.
Direct positivity towards impatient people, but do so in an assertive way while standing up for yourself. Have you ever heard the term “firm but fair?” This certainly applies to dealing with the impatient.
Annoyance is simply the state of being irritated or angered by the actions or behavior of someone else. Being irritated or angered by someone also causes the annoyed person to be distracted, which only adds to the annoyance factor; effectively increasing the possibility of a heated exchange. In this way, annoying behavior is a double-edged sword.
Whether or not a certain behavior is annoying is often a matter of perspective. Some people will find a certain behavior annoying while others will not. Do you have one or more “pet peeves?” Well, most people do not have the same reactions when encountering these behaviors. Annoying behavior is very subjective, which makes sense considering the person has absolutely no idea that their behavior is annoying in most cases.
The best way to deal with any behavior that annoys you is to simply control your emotions. Take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and focus on breathing normally. Understand that the annoying behavior is likely not directed towards you.
You can also practice using one word to set in your mind until the desire to react passes. For example, relax your body, close your eyes and think of the word “calm.” Repeat this word while imagining calm flow through your body from head to toe.
At times, you may need to stand up for yourself. Of course, do so privately and politely, but be firm and direct. Show appreciation for the person, even before the individual agrees to change their behavior. Doing so will drastically increase the likelihood that the behavior will change – at least around you!
Last, but certainly not least, is our own inner critic. Just as the above six behavioral characteristics of others does not necessarily define them, your biggest critic doesn’t necessarily define you.
What you consider flaws are actually marks of individuality. Many of whom we would consider the most beautiful, wealthiest, most privileged people on this planet are incredibly lonely and depressed. Why? Simple – they are always their worst critic despite of these “advantages.” Perfectionism is a myth; there is nothing perfect…and this certainly includes us.
While the previous six behaviors may be difficult to contend with, they don’t hold a stick to self-criticism. It is crucial that you take care of yourself, ignore negative thoughts (“tabloids of the mind”), and accept yourself for who you are.