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Dealing with People that Drive You Crazy!

We all know someone who just drives us batty. Perhaps the person is too noisy, too borish, or too flashy. Perhaps the person is too gossipy, critical, or lazy. There are hundreds of reasons why we may not relate well to a person.

In my case, the person was both loud and talkative. He thought he was funny; I thought he was insensitive. So I decided to just ignore him... pretend he didn't exist. That strategy worked well for a few months until a close friend accused me of being rude.

"Rude?" I scoffed. "I don't think so."

"Ignoring someone is rude," Pat reminded me. "Acting like someone doesn't exist is one of the worst ways you can treat someone. You always told me that you hated feeling invisible yet that is EXACTLY how you treat Earl."

"But he just drives me crazy!" I said trying to defend myself. "If I talk to him I'm just going to say something mean and rotten. Isn't that worse?"

"At least you'd be acknowledging that he's human," she persisted.

"Barely!" I said.

I turned away in a red-faced huff. Pat obviously didn't understand! Still her words lingered in my mind. No matter how I tried to justify my behavior, I couldn't convince myself that she was wrong.

I had to change my behavior.

I started with very small attempts at conversation. First I offered a basic greeting, "Hi Earl."

Then I asked a question and listened to the response. Before I knew it, we were having real conversations, laughing together, and dare I admit, enjoying our new friendship.

Was it difficult to start talking with Earl? At first, most definitely yes. My first challenge, of course, was to climb down off my high horse without falling on my face!

But I'm glad that I dropped the mask of indifference. Earl has become a good friend. He can make me laugh at myself and the world because he doesn't take life too seriously. Yes, Earl can still be loud. He definitely talks too much; and don't share your secrets with him.

He still drives me batty at times, but for the most part, I just laugh and enjoy our friendship. It was only after becoming his friend that I realized how exhausting it was to ignore him. Now my energy is spent on other things... things, like Earl, that matter.

=================================================================
Copyright 2005. Donna Doyon, Activities Coordinator for Your Virtual Retreat is the author of GLOW: Renew Your Spirit & Release Your Inner Beauty. She offers information, inspiration and encouragement to people who want to say goodbye to self defeating attitudes and behaviors and hello to greater success, healthier relationships and more joyful living. Get inspired at her website: http://www.donnadoyon.com.

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