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How To Manage Stressful People


Updated February 20, 2007

People can be a major source of stress in our lives. Relatives drive us crazy and co-workers make our jobs harder. Follow this How To to reduce the impact stressful people have on your life and your health.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: varies

Here's How:

  1. Pre-decide

    You have dealt with this person before, you can probably play the situation out in your head, you know exactly what they are going do -- so decide what you are going to do. Decide beforehand what you want to do and stick to that.

  2. Control Your Reaction

    A person who doesn't care has a tremendous power. If someone upsets you because of what they believe, ask yourself "Why do I care?" You can't change or control people, but you can control how you react to them.

  3. Don't Get on Their Emotional Bus

    Stressful people will try to take you on an emotional ride with them. They get angry, you get angry and yelling happens. They get sad, you get sad and everybody's sad. Don't get on their emotional bus. Listen, talk, communicate -- but don't let them control you by triggering negative emotions.

  4. Know What You Need

    When meeting with a stressful person, know beforehand what you need from the meeting. What are your goals? Keep those in mind as the conversation ebbs and flows. Bring the talk back to your goals. If you can get your goals met you have learned how to deal with this person.

  5. Don't Dwell

    After your encounter with the stressful, don't keep thinking about it. If things went badly, move on with your life. You can be sure the stressful person isn't thinking about you. Don't ruin the rest of your day. Create a plan for next time you are in that situation and let it go.

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