Friday, October 16, 2015
Difficult People: Are Emotional Vampires Driving You Batty?
By: Colleen Kettenhofen
This November, I will be speaking at Precision Metalforming Association’s Executive Development Academy in Chicago. There, you will be hearing me share tools, tips and techniques for managing difficult people. If you’re thinking, “I need some help now!” here are a few tidbits to tide you over.
In my book “Secrets Your Boss Isn’t Telling You,” I reveal seven magic “wands” if you will, for dealing with difficult people. During this upcoming holiday season, many participants in my keynotes on leadership have asked me for tips on dealing with difficult people in the workplace, and in general. Here’s one suggestion for that…
Do what you can to refill the well so Emotional Vampires don’t drive you batty!
In a tough economy, everyone experiences adversity from time to time—whether it’s caring for a loved one, job insecurities, reduced incomes, managing a difficult employee and more. Maybe it’s that you’re “hanging in there” and dealing with a difficult boss. People seem to be working harder than ever…and complaining more. You’ve undoubtedly known people who come to work and complain about their home life, then go home and complain about their professional life! What a never-ending day!
But what if you’re working as hard as you can both at work and at home and feeling underappreciated? As someone who has previously been in the role of caregiver as well as running a speaking, coaching, and consulting business, I understand. And I empathize with the hard work single parents do. As Mother Teresa said, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread alone.”
So, what do you do when you feel underappreciated—especially when dealing with difficult people? Mark Twain said it best. “When you cannot get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.”
Look in the mirror. And what I’m about to say, I say respectfully. You are the only person responsible for how you feel. Ultimately, you can’t control what someone else will—or won’t—say to you. Indeed, some people get so focused on their needs, they’ll never be able to appreciate you. Heed this saying: “You can’t ask a naked man to give you the shirt off his back.” Some people simply don’t have love to give back because they don’t love themselves first.
So treat yourself with small rewards for a job well done. Refill the well and don’t let Emotional Vampires drive you batty. Difficult people are Emotional Vampires who suck the life out of you. And it can take days, weeks, or months to recover if you don’t do something positive to blunt their impact and counteract their bitter aftertaste. (More on that at the conference).
What can you plan this weekend that would boost your happiness quotient? Drive to a picturesque setting, splurge on a manicure or pedicure, spend time with your significant other, see a movie with supportive friends. Simply don’t let the difficult people get you down. One of the secrets to successfully dealing with difficult people is to remember that you choose your response—both inwardly and outwardly. If you keep dissecting what Emotional Vampires said or did to you, you’re giving them power over you. Remember, the person who constantly angers, frustrates, or intimidates you actually controls you.
See you in Chicago!
A highly sought-after speaker, author, and executive facilitator, Colleen Kettenhofen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs before thousands in 48 states and six countries. These days, she enjoys hiking in the mountains of Boise, Idaho, where she lives with her dog, Joy.
Precision Metalforming Association’s ExecutiveDevelopment Academy has been developed to support manufacturing leaders as they build, lead and sustain innovative organizations. During this two-day boot camp, taking place from November 9-11 in Chicago, industry professionals will have the opportunity to refresh and hone their skills while getting briefed on the latest technology and trends impacting their businesses.