Change is tough for most us! Sometimes even little changes are met with massive resistance in my little corner of the world! Today, I have a guest post from author Sarah Elliston about Chaning our Ways....and the difficulties of change. Check out Elliston's post, her new book--and enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!
Changing Our Ways Is Difficult by Sarah Elliston
“Look inward. Maybe change your ways.” This advice from a recent relationship blog by Daily Nation blogger Chris Hart reminds me that I have improved at the process of looking within. Then I turn around and realize I am still doing many things as I always have.
For example, I have consistently found my greatest sense of peace in reading fiction. I love to read, and when I was growing up, my greatest friends were in books. As an adult, when I am feeling depressed, I fear this is still true. Certainly, characters in books become familiar friends.
Reading is an activity I don’t want to change. But I want real friends too. To have them, I have to reduce the habit of reading to build the habit of talking, visiting, and investing in relationships. I have to change my ways.
Similarly, I like to lift weights and even pay a trainer to push me three times a week. I enjoy it and rarely miss it. I would feel even better if I ate as he suggests and did more cardio. I go through spurts of activity and eating well, and then something external to me changes, like the holidays or a stressful assignment at work, and I find excuses to eat pizza and skip my morning walk.
Ah well, get a support group, talk about it, get a cheering section, and have others to whom I am accountable. It all helps. Change my ways.
I think we change when the pain of not changing is worse than the pain of changing. But when I am not getting what I want from what I am doing, it is logical to change what I am doing, pain or not.
In my book, Lessons from a Difficult Person: How to Deal with People Like Us, I urge the reader to look inward, clarify values, boundaries, and emotional triggers, and build toward having a conversation with a difficult person. I encourage the reader to ask their difficult person if having a negative impact is what they want and then assist in helping the difficult person make a change—if that is what the difficult person wants.
I believe people can make changes. I have grown from a perpetually angry, defensive person into a person who apologizes for inappropriate comments and who attempts not to make them. Yet I still prefer books to people, and even when I want to be physically active, I find excuses to stay on the couch.
Even when we want to change, making changes isn’t as easy as it sounds. So I give myself a break and start again.
Sarah (Sam) Elliston is an expert in the art of Dealing with Difficult People. She is a top workshop leader and a member of the faculty of the William Glasser Institute, which espouses “Reality Therapy” to foster behavioral change.
But her instructional career began long before she even became aware that she was herself a “difficult person,” traits that began in Lincoln MA, where she grew up. For more than 30 years she has been teaching and training, first as a high school teacher in Ohio and Cincinnati—and then as an administrator in the not-for-profit sector.
Quick Summary of Lessons From a Difficult Person: How to Deal with People Like Us
Elliston is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who offers wisdom learned the hard way—by experience – as well as through rigorous study and certification in many areas of professional training that aid her in her work -- Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist and developer of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy that teaches people they have a choice in how they choose to behave.
The methods Elliston offers in her book end the trauma and the drama, and minimize the possibility of confrontation. She gives YOU, the reader, the ability to take a strong, positive, confident—yet compassionate--stance with the “difficult person”—whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children or anyone else for that matter.
Elliston demonstrates how to:
• Identify the ways to talk to a “difficult” person
• Incorporate true incentives to help people change
• Make real the consequences of the “difficult” person’s action
• Increase success through acceptance and belonging
• Avoid being triggered by the “difficult” person allowing you to neutralize those hot buttons and communicate without judgment
Elliston lays out a proven script for peacefully transforming the difficult person’s behavior and the environment. She gives you the tools for successfully initiating and engaging in a conversation with a difficult person that would lead to change.
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