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How to not let others bullshit ruin your day?

(15 Posts)
thingsaregettingtome Sun 07-Jul-13 12:28:29

I'm not sure what this thread is actually asking. Just looking for some feedback.

One of the things that I really struggle with in my life is confrontation between myself and others. I generally get along with everyone, but there have of course been times when I have clashed with a few people at work, Uni, in-laws and friends. When this happens I generally do not deal with it well and the confrontation often ends up with me seething due to the fact that I have not stood up to that person for fear of causing a feud, or falling out with them. I grew up in a household where no one argued and we didn't bad mouth each other or cause each other grief. Apparently I am otherwise a very assertive person!

So over the past few months I have been having disagreements with a couple of the women in the family. I don't work on Friday's and I was in a really bad mood, ruminating over things that have been going on and I went out on my mountain bike to try and let off some steam. Whilst out riding I was thinking a lot about this ongoing disagreement and then I went arse over tit, smacked into a kerb and ended up having my ankle xrayed (it's OK but XXXing sore) and some nasty scrapes and my bike/ tyre is screwed. I sat on the kerb thinking, are one stupid bitch!!

This got me thinking about Steve Jobs quote about never letting other peoples noise get in the way of what you want to achieve (something like that) and I got really upset because I am doing just that - letting other people's noise get in the way of the normal functioning of my everyday life.

So in a nutshell. I am letting other people get to me. I am letting them get the better of my judgement, I am letting them ruin my day. I don't want to do this anymore. I want to not care, be a bitch, be selfish and not give a shit about giving some back to well, nasty people. But then, that's not me.

So, how the hell do I stop this from happening I suppose is the plea for help! Someone recommend me a book for gods sake.

SilverOldie Sun 07-Jul-13 12:51:01

I can recomend

Effectively, your mind is your own and you do not have to accept any negative thoughts into it from anyone else.

She suggests you imagine the negative thought is written on a piece of paper, you mentally scrunch the paper up into a ball and 'throw it away'. It takes some practice but although I read this book years ago, I still do it to this day.

Good luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 12:53:41

I don't think you need a book so much as a 'script' i.e. a few verbal jump-off points that you can practise. You know when the line has been crossed so it's not that you have poor boundaries. You're assertive in other regards so that's not the issue. IME the hard part is converting knowing something has annoyed you to saying it out loud. IME also, it's that first phrase that is the hardest to say. So my favourite noise-reduction, PITA-squashing, conversation-starters are

"I'm not happy with that".... works in almost any situation from poor service in shops to other people trying to push their opinions on you

"You're not going to like this, but...." Ideal if you've got something you need to get off your chest from a cold start.

"What exactly do you mean by that?"... the Cog version of 'did you mean that to sound so rude' and often followed up with 'I'm not happy with that'

"We need to talk..." Another one for cold starts.

ReluctantBeing Sun 07-Jul-13 12:55:22

Junk thoughts. When a thought pops into your head about someone else, think 'is this a junk thought?' And the chuck it out!

Aetae Sun 07-Jul-13 12:57:20

We did some interesting development stuff at work using the Thomas-Kilmann conflict model. It might help you. The premise is there are 5 basic conflict modes, and everyone has a preference based on their upbringing but you can learn the other modes if you're conscious of it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 12:58:26

I think the thoughts are there because the OP isn't articulating them properly. 'Trapped', simmering over everything they didn't say rather than the freedom that comes from having said your piece and moved on.

thingsaregettingtome Sun 07-Jul-13 14:48:18

Cog, you are exactly right. It amazes me that I can stand up to a man who is twice the size of me (massive rugby coach kept subbing kids on team but never his child) but when it comes to other situations as Cog says, I have not articulated my annoyance. I tend to take it on the chin, to keep the peace, then go over it in my head again and again and again. What I should have said, what I will say next time etc. etc. What was my wake up call was this negativity getting me into an accident. This doesn't happen at work now that I am older as I use the "it's not what you say but how you say it" and happily articulate my annoyance, different opinions because I am paid to be professional and you can say anything so long as you are polite and professional. My down fall is dealing with other mums, friends and family (on both sides) who all seem to get their own way at my/ our expense and I end up miserable. I accept that this is MY issue that needs to resolve as I don't expect other people to change. I want to do something about it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 14:56:11

So try your professional approach on your family. Mentally recast them in the role of clients if it helps. I know it's difficult but you have to start somewhere and, if you've already got the words framed for work and can maintain your cool, then it's just a question of spitting them out. Your family might be a bit shock to start with but what have you really got to lose, except another tumble off your bike?

Another one I used yesterday. ''Did you telephone me specifically to start an argument or was there some other reason?" smile Oh the fun you can have once you decide you don't care!!!

thingsaregettingtome Sun 07-Jul-13 15:34:55

Some great advice for me to be working on. Thanks a lot. I will start practising tomorrow.

LadyMud Sun 07-Jul-13 16:08:35

But more importantly . . . . how are you going to get your mountain bike fixed? wink

nerofiend Sun 07-Jul-13 21:21:26

As I grow older I'm starting to realise how toxic some people can be for no reason other than putting you down or get their way with you.

I, like you, are rubbish at answering back straight away as it takes me a while to fully comprehend people's true intentions. I tend to think most people have their best intentions at heart but with time and age many people become quite bitter, they're not happy with their lives and consequently they become toxic on their daily lives.

Having a set of prepared answers for potential toxic exchanges is a good idea. With time you'll get used to coming up with them when the situation requires it. I need to practice this too as I also hate confrontations and would most of the time keep my mouth shut to avoid a feud or drama.

The other option, which I find easier if less brave, is try to avoid toxic, negative people as much as you possibly can. This is a hard one in the case of family but can work with neighbours, some friends and the sometimes dreaded school mums.

onefewernow Mon 08-Jul-13 08:54:49

Sometimes it is a simple matter of learning to say no, or that won't work for me.

Biscuitsareme Mon 08-Jul-13 10:23:05

I'm wondering, OP, you say you grew up in a house where there were no arguments. Is it possible that this left you a bit in the dark as to how to argue/ stand your ground in a non-professional situation? I'm asking because I never learnt to have a 'polite' argument or resolve conflict as a child because my parents were authoritarian and unwilling to engage in an argument, and I'm finding it difficult to stand my ground in non-work and non-parenting situations.

Sometimes I wish there were courses on interpersonal relations and boundary-maintenance I could sign up for.

lastmalteserinthepacket Wed 10-Jul-13 08:15:58

OP- you have been through a horrid but hopefully transformative experience - you are doing great, to make sense of it all

Biscuits - yes! That rings very loud bells for me. 2 questions (Cogito or anyone):

1. How do you deal with the results of being authentic? i.e. the fact that when you assert yourself, some people may evaporate from your life. How do you feel 'ok' about not having many people left?

2. Cogito, those responses sound great but they are pretty hardcore - I mean, there is no going back. Are there softer versions?

Typing in a rush for work, hope makes sense

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 10-Jul-13 10:35:40

When I was at school one classmate wrote on another's copybook to encourage her against bullies,
"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil for I AM the biggest bitch in the land..."

You don't have to stoop to anyone else's level, OP, if you want to just walk away and detach that is equally satisfying. When it comes to our family and friends, they are used to us listening and accepting, they assign us a role, and seem shocked when we step outside our box.

You say
My downfall is dealing with other mums, friends and family (on both sides) who all seem to get their own way at my/ our expense and I end up miserable.

onefewernow suggests, "That doesn't work for me", which when you start letting that trip off your tongue can be surprisingly effective.
Another tactic is, "Let me think about it, I'll get back to you". That can stem the tide and give you thinking space if an outright "No" is hard to manage. Even, if you can ask it, "What makes you think I'd fancy that?"

People might have to re-evaluate how they trample on you. They could give more thought to how they present things to you. With some people if you do roll over, they just think of you as "Good old thingsaregettingtome, she's so laidback/easygoing!" when actually they mean, she's a pushover. I even had, "Is it your time of the month?" when I spoke up or challenged assumptions.

Stop letting loved ones take it for granted you'll do as they want. Push back. It's your turn.

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