“You are no good.
You look unpleasant.
Kadiri your pimples.
No one will love you for the way you look.
You cannot do it. You are Hopeless.”
Often times, we heard these words through jokes or simple chitchat with friends, classmates or office mates. If not, they really meant to say it. (Ouch!)
When hanging out with friends, you don’t want to ruin the moment and be tagged as “basag trip” or kill joy of the group. So, you just join the ride and shrug it off.
This may be the reason, why I have been keeping diaries and journal since grade school. I was not confrontational, thus the pages on my notebook and my pens are my go-to friends. They’re more than willing to listen 😉
I have to admit, I am such as a people-pleaser. Its bothersome if someone is mad at me, or I spit something unnecessary due to a conflict with my colleagues or friends. I take their words seriously… I listen, I think about it, and I remember it…even for years.
But, how do I manage these somewhat offensive comments and how do I interact with difficult people? How can I still manage to smile and be calm in this situation?
I’m not sure if you feel the same, but I have this thing called“after-guilt” syndrome (idk if that word exist). Whenever I encounter a conflict, I will immediately assess myself…ALONE, search How-To / Why-does articles on Google, or watch TedTalks on Youtube to satisfy the big question in me. “What could have I done better?”
Hence, I came up with 3 learnings that has been really helpful for me.
1. Hold your breath and close your mouth.
When you’re triggered, being mad and aggressive could be the easiest reaction.
I remember an argument with my friend about the poll conducted by the Philippine Congress about Same Sex Marriage that resulted to a friendly argument.
After all the raising of voices plus battle of distorted faces due to disagreement, something struck me. I cannot insist my beliefs on him, just because I experienced or managed the situation better and he did not. Rather, it would be helpful to give him my understanding and my empathy.
That moment, my friend didn’t need another persecution like what he’s receiving on social media. He needed me as a friend, to ought love not hate, to listen out his heart. And my silence, could have been the better advise.
2. Pick the right emoji.
Stress is something you cannot avoid in your daily work. And ever since I have heard “The 5 Chairs” method from the Behavioral Coach and Corporate Trainer Louise Evans, my daily encounter with stress has a humongous change.
She introduced this method, saying that these 5 chairs offer 5 choices when you’re dealing a situation. It could be one of these: (1. Attack, 2. Self Doubt, 3. Wait, 4. Detect, 5. Connect.) Think of it as picking your choice of emoji: 😡😔🤔🧐😉.
Watch: Own you Behaviours, Master your Communication, Determine your Success
Hence, every time I get in the middle of a difficult situation, I think of these 5 chairs and choose the chair 3, 🤐🤔 wait and think. This way, I can avoid igniting the fire and choose my last choice of chair 😉 to respond. In such circumstance, the only thing I can control is my emotion, my behavior and should know that I’m responsible for it.
So, the next time someone pushes your red button, you better choose your chair or your emoji well, because the way you would respond to the conflict, will definitely have a huge impact on its result. ❤️🙏💪🏻
3. Better use it, girl!
Use it or defuse it? Its the question from Crismarie Campbell and Susan Clarke in a Ted talk about dealing with conflict.
Watch: Conflict-Use it or Defuse it?
I personally do not like conflicts or difficult conversations. A year ago, I was still working in media and I remember that sobbing had been my response to conflicts.
It was really cliché as most of my colleagues majors in communication and yet, some could not manage to communicate—in a nicer way. I got tired of dealing with those specific colleagues. So, I avoided the conflict and decided to quit instead.
(Disclaimer: I’m thankful for my friends, my ates and kuyas in media! I appreciate you all for the support and learnings. ❤️ I’m grateful to have you as my family for more than 3 years! 🥺)
Now, that I became more mature and developed some guts, I’ve learned that conflicts are not actually something that I have to be afraid of. Its really difficult! But, if you keep on defusing those difficult people or conversation, you will not grow.
Using the conflict, would rather give you an opportunity to know yourself better by hearing feedbacks and could even help you think of more creative ideas.
I cannot say these things will work on you, but these helped me and saved me a ton! #mrf