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Chapter 5. Keeping Your Feet on the Grou... > Blaming and Problem Solving—the Diff... - Pg. 46

Keeping Your Feet on the Ground with Difficult People 46 Some people think that's nonsense, but think about it for a moment. How come Mary reacts to difficult behavior with anger, while with Ted, it rolls off his back? Simple: because they think differently, and say different things to themselves. Mary, who gets angry, says things to herself that creates anger. Ted says different things to himself, things more likely to keep him calm and in control. You can learn how to do that. It's not magic. At the end of this chapter we'll get more specific about how to get there. Second, you have to know how to convey the idea that the difficult behavior isn't going to work with you. That requires skill and knowing what to say in difficult situations. We'll focus on that part of the equation throughout the remainder of the book, when we get to handling specific difficult situations, and specific tactics and techniques. The bottom line here is that you don't want to reward bad behavior. You want to show the person that you aren't getting suckered in, that you are cool and calm, and that, perhaps above all, you will not be manipulated or allow anyone to control your emotional state or your actions. You are a responsible adult and you are going to act like one, in control of your own actions and reactions. Blaming and Problem Solving--the Difference Part of the mind-set needed to help you stay balanced, your feet firmly on the ground, involves understanding the difference between a blaming mind-set and a problem-solving mind-set. After you understand the difference, you must commit to a problem-solving approach. If you don't, you become a gasoline thrower. I'm sure you have come across people who seem to be more interested in finding someone to blame when things go wrong than figuring out why it's gone wrong and ensuring that it doesn't happen