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Your Actions and Reactions: The REAL Story

Have you ever been insulted? Criticized? Maligned? Spoken about in a less-than-favorable light?

Of course your answer is yes, because we all have. No matter how we try, as the wise Mr. Marley has said, 'you can't please all de people all de time.' The real question is, what do you do and think about it when it does happen?

The easiest thing for all of us to do is to react with anger and defensiveness; of course the other person is wrong and is a big jerk for saying mean things about us. However, this is your chance to test your growing sense of self and your theories about responsibility, fairness and human relations. This is when you put the proverbial pedal to the metal...when you find out if you can practice what you preach, and choose in the moment what you have chosen in theory.

First, we can look at our own actions and question whether there is any validity to what has been said. Perhaps there is something to it; some way in which we can amend our behavior that will make for better relations with others. None of us are perfect, and there is always room for improvement.

By vehemently denying what we perceive as a slight against our character, we also deny ourselves of any growth that might come from taking a good look at the part we have played in things. If, instead, we are able to step back and attempt to look at things from the viewpoint of another, we give ourselves an opportunity to change. Maybe we will decide, after some honest reflection, that we would not have done anything differently, but we won't know unless we ask ourselves some difficult questions.

TIP: Here is a proactive way you can go about this character- and personality-building exercise. It is definitely not easy, but it is refreshing and it works: ask the people in your life what it's like to be around you. Ask them to be honest with you. What are you like to be around? What words would they use to describe you? Are there certain things they wish you would do differently? Do you have habits that drive them up the wall? Do they see room for improvement in any areas?

If you can show that you are honestly seeking answers in order to improve yourself and your relations with others, what a big sigh of relief this will be for them! You know from your own experience how difficult it is to bring up to others what annoys you about them...but what if they asked you, in an honest attempt to change? Wouldn't you answer truthfully?

In response, do not get defensive or offended. You will destroy any honest intention they had of being straightforward with you. Simply LISTEN. Gather up the information and take it home with you, where you can contemplate it in private. This information represents an enormous opportunity to you. It is like gold. For in improving our human relations, we can improve every aspect of our lives. By changing ourselves, we can change our worlds.

As a final word, if and when you find that the stinging words of others are getting under your skin, or if perhaps you find the words untrue and it continues to rankle you, remember the wise words of author and EFT expert Carol Look: "What others think about you is none of your business"! Get back to living your wonderful life, and move on.

P.S. Exciting news! Blogging associate Aaron Potts at Today is That Day has finally put the finishing touches on his Personal Development Partners site. Click on the link to visit and interact with some like-minded individuals. Mr. Potts has a put a lot of thought and work into creating a user-friendly and interactive place for fellow personal development-minded people to enjoy and benefit from. The community is growing quickly and will be a great place to learn and grow. Enjoy!

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